The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of interval aerobic training combined with strength exercise in the same training session on body composition, and glycaemic and lipid profile in obese rats. Sixteen lean Zucker rats and sixteen obese Zucker rats were randomly divided into exercise and sedentary subgroups (4 groups, n = 8). Exercise consisted of interval aerobic training combined with strength exercise in the same training session. The animals trained 60 min/day, 5 days/week for 8 weeks. Body composition, lipid and glycaemic profiles and inflammatory markers were assessed. Results showed that fat mass was reduced in both lean and obese rats following the exercise training (effect size (95% confidence interval (CI)) = 1.8 (0.5-3.0)). Plasma low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and fasting glucose were lower in the exercise compared to the sedentary groups (d = 2.0 (0.7-3.2) and 1.8 (0.5-3.0), respectively). Plasma insulin was reduced in exercise compared to sedentary groups (d = 2.1 (0.8-3.4)). Some exercise × phenotype interactions showed that the highest decreases in insulin, homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance, fasting and postprandial glucose were observed in the obese + exercise group (all, P < 0.01). The findings of this study suggest that interval aerobic training combined with strength exercise would improve body composition, and lipid and glycaemic profiles, especially in obese rats.
Keywords: Insulin sensitivity; body composition; cholesterol; metabolic syndrome.