Aerobic versus strength training for risk factor intervention in middle-aged men at high risk for coronary heart disease

Metabolism. 1993 Feb;42(2):177-84. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(93)90032-j.


To compare the effects of strength training (ST) to those of aerobic training (AT) for coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factor intervention, we studied 37 previously untrained males (aged 50 +/- 9 years, mean +/- SD) before and after 20 weeks of either ST (N = 14), AT (walk/jog, N = 13), or no exercise (inactive controls, N = 10). Lipoprotein and lipid profiles, blood pressure, and glucose and insulin responses to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were assessed before and after the training period in all three groups. The ST program produced significant reductions in plasma glucose levels at 60, 90, and 120 minutes (P < .05) after glucose ingestion, whereas the AT program resulted in significant reductions only at 90 and 120 minutes (P < .05). ST also decreased insulin levels during fasting (P < .05) and at 90 and 120 minutes (P < .01) after glucose ingestion. AT decreased insulin levels at 90 and 120 minutes (P < .01) after glucose ingestion. Both training programs reduced the total area under the glucose tolerance curve for glucose (both P < .05) and insulin (both P < .05), but there were no significant differences in these changes between the two groups. None of the glucose or insulin values were significantly altered in the control group. There were no significant changes in lipoprotein and lipid profiles or blood pressure in any of the three groups. These results suggest that ST and AT have comparable effects on risk factors for CHD.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control*
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipids