Aerobic Training Better Than Resistance Training for Obese

Aerobic training reduces visceral, abdominal, and liver fat, insulin resistance, liver enzymes

TUESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- For sedentary, overweight and obese adults, aerobic training (AT) is more effective than resistance training (RT) at reducing visceral fat, total abdominal fat, liver fat, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, and fasting insulin resistance (HOMA), and there is no additional benefit of adding RT to AT, according to a study published online Aug. 16 in the American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Cris A. Slentz, Ph.D., from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues, compared the effects of AT, RT, and AT/RT on visceral and liver fat, liver enzymes, and HOMA. An initial four-month run-in period was conducted on 249 overweight, sedentary participants (18 to 70 years old) with moderate dyslipidemia. Of these, 196 completed the run-in and were randomized to one of the three eight-month exercise training groups: RT (three days/week, eight exercises, three sets/exercise, eight to 12 repetitions/set), AT (~19.2 km/week, 75 percent peak oxygen uptake), or full AT/RT for eight weeks. A total of 155 participants completed the interventions.

The investigators found that AT significantly reduced liver fat, visceral fat, ALT, HOMA, and total and subcutaneous abdominal fat, whereas RT significantly reduced only subcutaneous abdominal fat. Compared to RT, AT was more effective in reducing liver fat scores and improving visceral fat, liver to spleen ratio, and total abdominal fat. The differences in effects of AT/RT and AT were statistically indistinguishable.

"These data show that for overweight and obese individuals who want to reduce measures of visceral fat and fatty liver infiltration and improve HOMA and ALT, a moderate amount of aerobic exercise is the most time-efficient and effective exercise mode," the authors write.

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