The purpose of this study was to determine what effect aerobic and resistance exercise training has on gain of visceral fat during the year following weight loss. After being randomly assigned to aerobic training, resistance training, or no exercise training, 45 European-American (EA) and 52 African-American (AA) women lost 12.3 +/- 2.5 kg on a 800 kcal/day diet. Computed tomography was used to measure abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue, whereas total fat and regional fat (leg, arm, and trunk) were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry after weight loss and 1 year following the weight loss. Because not all the subjects adhered to the 2 time/week 40 min/day exercise training during the 1-year follow-up, subjects were divided into five groups for analysis: aerobic adherers, aerobic nonadherers, resistance adherers, resistance nonadherers, and no exercise. No significant differences were observed between the aerobic training and resistance training adherers for any variable. However, the aerobic (3.1 kg) and resistance (3.9 kg) exercise adherers gained less weight than any of the other three groups (all >6.2 kg). In addition, the two exercise adherence groups did not significantly increase visceral fat (<0.8%) as compared with the 38% increase for the two nonadhering exercise groups and the 25% for the nonexercise group. In conclusion, as little as 80 min/week aerobic or resistance training had modest positive effects on preventing weight regain following a diet-induced weight loss. More importantly, both aerobic and resistance training prevented regain of potentially harmful visceral fat.