Effects of high vs. moderate exercise intensity during interval training on lipids and adiponectin levels in obese young females

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Oct;113(10):2531-40. doi: 10.1007/s00421-013-2689-5. Epub 2013 Jul 4.


Purpose: We investigate the effects of 12-week interval training of moderate- or high-intensity exercise on blood lipids and plasma levels of adiponectin.

Methods: Thirty-four obese adolescent females [age = 15.9 ± 0.3 years; BMI and BMI-Z-score = 30.8 ± 1.6 kg/m(2) and 3 ± 0.3, respectively], were randomized to high-intensity interval training (HIIT, n = 11), moderate-intensity interval training (MIIT, n = 11), or a control group (CG, n = 12). Maximal oxygen uptake ([Formula: see text]), maximal aerobic speed (MAS), plasma lipids and adiponectin levels were measured in all subjects before and after training.

Results: Following the training program, in both training groups, body mass, BMI-Z-score, and percentage body fat (% BF) decreased, while [Formula: see text] and MAS increased. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and adiponectin levels were positively altered (-12.6 and -7.4 %; 6.3 and 8.0 %; 35.8 and 16.2 %; high to moderate training program, respectively). Waist circumference, triglyceride and total cholesterol decreased only in HIIT group (-3.5; -5.3 and -7.0 %, respectively, in all P < 0.05). Significant decrease in the usual index of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) occurred in HIIT and MIIT groups (-29.2 ± 5.3 and -18.4 ± 8.6 %, respectively; P < 0.01).

Conclusion: The results show that HIIT positively changes blood lipids and adiponectin variables in obese adolescent girls, resulting in improved insulin sensitivity, as attested by a lower HOMA-IR, and achieving better results compared to moderate-intensity exercise.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Running*


  • Adiponectin
  • Lipids