High-intensity body weight training is comparable to combined training in changes in muscle mass, physical performance, inflammatory markers and metabolic health in postmenopausal women at high risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized controlled clinical trial

Exp Gerontol. 2018 Jul 1;107:108-115. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.02.016. Epub 2018 Feb 19.


Objective: This study compared the effects of 12 weeks of high-intensity interval body weight training (HIBWT) with combined training (COMT; aerobic and resistance exercises on body composition, a 6-minute walk test (6MWT; physical performance), insulin resistance (IR) and inflammatory markers in postmenopausal women (PW) at high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (TDM2).

Methods: In this randomized controlled clinical study, 16 PW at high risk of TDM2 were randomly allocated into two groups: HIBWT (n = 8) and COMT (n = 8). The HIBWT group performed a training protocol (length time ~28 min) consisting of ten sets of 60 s of high intensity exercise interspersed by a recovery period of 60 s of low intensity exercise. The COMT group performed a training protocol (length time ~60 min) consisting of a 30 min walk of moderate intensity following by five resistance exercises. All training sessions were performed in the university gym facility three days a week (no consecutive days) for 12 weeks. All outcomes (body composition, muscle function, and IR and inflammatory markers) were assessed at the baseline and at the end of the study.

Results: Both groups increased (P < 0.05) muscle mass index (MMI), 6MWT, and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist and decreased fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, Insulin, HOMA-IR, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (trend, P = 0.056). HIBWT effects were indistinguishable (P > 0.05) from the effects of COMT. There was a significant (P < 0.05) interaction of time by the group in muscle strength, indicating that only the COMT increased the muscle strength.

Conclusions: This study suggests that changes in HOMA, IL-1ra, 6MWT, and MMI with HITBW are similar when compared to COMT in PW at high risk of TDM2.

Trial registration: The patients were part of a 12-week training study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03200639).

Keywords: Cytokines; Exercise; Glycated hemoglobin; IL-1ra.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • High-Intensity Interval Training*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Functional Performance
  • Postmenopause
  • Resistance Training / methods*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03200639