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High-Intensity Single-Leg Cycling Improves Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Profile

GORDON, NICOLE1; ABBISS, CHRIS R.2; MAIORANA, ANDREW J.3,4; JAMES, ANTHONY P.5; CLARK, KARIN5; MARSTON, KIERAN J.1; PEIFFER, JEREMIAH J.1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: November 2019 - Volume 51 - Issue 11 - p 2234–2242
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002053
APPLIED SCIENCES
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Introduction Regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease through risk factor modification, with high-intensity exercise and more recently small muscle mass training providing alternatives to moderate-intensity exercise.

Methods This study randomly assigned 53 healthy middle-age adults (age, 62 ± 6 yr) to complete 24 sessions (8 wk; 3 d·wk−1) of exercise training, using either high-intensity double-leg cycling (n = 17; HITDL), high-intensity single-leg cycling (n = 18; HITSL), or moderate-intensity double-leg cycling (n = 18; MCTDL). Biomarkers of cardiovascular risk (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-c, LDL-c, apo-B48, and glucose), anthropometry measures (body mass, body mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio), resting blood pressure, and aerobic capacity were assessed pre- and postintervention.

Results Total work completed was greater (P < 0.01) in MCTDL (5938 ± 1462 kJ) compared with the HITDL (3462 ± 1063 kJ) and HITSL (4423 ± 1875 kJ). Pre- to posttraining differences were observed for waist-to-hip ratio (0.84 ± 0.09 vs 0.83 ± 0.09; P < 0.01), resting systolic blood pressure (129 ± 11 vs 124 ± 12 mm Hg; P < 0.01), total cholesterol (5.87 ± 1.17 vs 5.55 ± 0.98 mmol·L−1; P < 0.01), and LDL-c (3.70 ± 1.04 vs 3.44 ± 0.84 mmol·L−1; P < 0.01), with no differences between conditions. In addition, aerobic capacity increased after training (22.3 ± 6.4 vs 24.9 ± 7.6 mL·kg−1·min−1; P < 0.01), with no differences between conditions.

Conclusion These findings suggest that all three modes of exercise can be prescribed to achieve cardiovascular risk reduction in an aging population.

1School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth, AUSTRALIA

2Centre for Exercise and Sport Science Research, School of Exercise and Health Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, AUSTRALIA

3School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, AUSTRALIA

4Allied Health Department, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch AUSTRALIA

5School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, AUSTRALIA

Address for correspondence: Nicole Gordon, Ph.D., Murdoch University, 90 South Street, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150, Australia; E-mail: N.Gordon@murdoch.edu.au.

Submitted for publication January 2019.

Accepted for publication May 2019.

Online date: May 30, 2019

© 2019 American College of Sports Medicine