Physical training in obese women. Effects of muscle morphology, biochemistry and function

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1984;52(4):355-61. doi: 10.1007/BF00943363.


Peripheral adaptations to 3 months of physical endurance training without food restrictions were studied in skeletal muscles of 14, middle-aged, physically untrained, obese women. In comparison to aged-matched controls of normal weight, the obese group showed significantly lower isometric endurance. In the obese group, physical training resulted in a significant increase of maximal isometric and isokinetic strength. Isokinetic but not isometric endurance also increased after training. The isometric strength of obese women showed a positive correlation with the percentage of FTb fibres. The training (50 min/day, 3 days/w) did not result in any change in body weight, body fat, and the number and weight of fat cells. The 20% increase of VO2 max after training was found to be significantly correlated with the increase in the number of capillaries around muscle fibres. The relative percentage of FTa fibres, the number of capillaries per fibre as well as the activities of citrate synthase, 3-hydroxy-acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase, and hexokinase showed a significant increase after training. The concentrations of glucose during OGTT showed a trend to decrease with a significant decrease at the end glucose curve (120-min value). The concentration of insulin and C peptide and the insulin removal did not change after training. The changes in the concentration of glucose during OGTT was significantly correlated with the increase in muscle capillarization and of dynamic endurance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Capillaries
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / blood supply
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Endurance


  • Insulin