A mathematical model of the effects of resistance exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy on body composition

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2018 Feb;118(2):449-460. doi: 10.1007/s00421-017-3787-6. Epub 2017 Dec 18.


Purpose: Current diet and exercise methods used to maintain or improve body composition often have poor long-term outcomes. We hypothesize that resistance exercise (RE) should aid in the maintenance of a healthy body composition by preserving lean mass (LM) and metabolic rate.

Method: We extended a previously developed energy balance model of human metabolism to include muscle hypertrophy in response to RE. We first fit model parameters to a hypothetical individual to simulate an RE program and then compared the effects of a hypocaloric diet only to the diet with either cardiovascular exercise (CE) or RE. We then simulated a cohort of individuals with different responses to RE by varying the parameters controlling it using Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS). Finally, we fit the model to mean data from an elderly population on an RE program.

Conclusion: The model is able to reproduce the time course of change in LM in response to RE and can be used to generate a simulated cohort for in silico clinical studies. Simulations suggest that the additional LM generated by RE may shift the body composition to a healthier state.

Keywords: Dieting; Lean mass; Mathematical model; Muscle hypertrophy; Resistance exercise; Weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / adverse effects*