Objective: To examine whether improvements in glycemic control and body composition resulting from 6 months of supervised high-intensity progressive resistance training could be maintained after an additional 6 months of home-based resistance training.
Research design and methods: We performed a 12-month randomized controlled trial in 36 sedentary, overweight men and women with type 2 diabetes (aged 60-80 years) who were randomly assigned to moderate weight loss plus high-intensity progressive resistance training (RT&WL group) or moderate weight loss plus a control program (WL group). Supervised gymnasium-based training for 6 months was followed by an additional 6 months of home-based training. Glycemic control (HbA1c), body composition, muscle strength, and metabolic syndrome abnormalities were assessed at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.
Results: Compared with the WL group, HbA1c decreased significantly more in the RT&WL group (-0.8%) during 6 months of supervised gymnasium-based training; however, this effect was not maintained after an additional 6 months of home-based training. In contrast, the greater increase in lean body mass (LBM) observed in the RT&WL group compared with the WL group (0.9 kg, P < 0.05) after the gymnasium-based training tended to be maintained after the home-based training (0.8 kg, P = 0.08). Similarly, the gymnasium-based increases in upper body and lower body muscle strength in the RT&WL group were maintained over the 12 months (P < 0.001). There were no between-group differences for changes in body weight, fat mass, fasting glucose, or insulin at 6 or 12 months.
Conclusions: In older adults with type 2 diabetes, home-based progressive resistance training was effective for maintaining the gymnasium-based improvements in muscle strength and LBM but not glycemic control. Reductions in adherence and exercise training volume and intensity seem to impede the effectiveness of home-based training for maintaining improved glycemic control.