Most health organizations recommend a combination of aerobic training (AT) and resistance training (RT), yet few studies have compared their acute (within 24 h of the last exercise bout) and sustained (after 14 days of no exercise training) effects alone and in combination on glucose metabolism. The present study (Studies Targeting Risk Reduction Interventions through Defined Exercise-Aerobic Training and/or Resistance Training) compared the effects of AT, RT, and the combination (AT/RT) on insulin action at both acute and sustained phases. Subjects (N = 196) were 18-70 yr old (mean age = 50 yr), overweight (mean body mass index = 30 kg/m2), sedentary with moderate dyslipidemia, and were randomized into one of three 8-mo exercise groups: 1) RT: 3 days/wk, 8 exercises, 3 sets/exercise, 8-12 repetitions/set; 2) AT: equivalent to ∼19.2 km/wk (12 miles/wk) at 75% peak O2 consumption; 3) AT/RT: the combination of AT and RT. One hundred forty-four subjects completed the intervention. Eighty-eight subjects completed all pre- and postintervention testing visits. Insulin sensitivity, glucose effectiveness, and disposition index were measured via a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test with subsequent minimal model analyses. AT/RT resulted in greater improvements in insulin sensitivity, β-cell function (disposition index), and glucose effectiveness than either AT or RT alone (all P < 0.05). Approximately 52% of the improvement in insulin sensitivity by AT/RT was retained 14 days after the last exercise training bout. Neither AT or RT led to acute or chronic improvement in sensitivity index. In summary, only AT/RT (which required twice as much time as either alone) led to significant acute and sustained benefits in insulin sensitivity
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00275145.