The purpose of this study was to examine differences in postprandial hypertriglyceridemia (PP-HTG) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) subfraction distribution among groups of men and women with different fitness levels. Fifty-four men and women (ages 30-53 yr) were recruited based on their previous two-year activity level: sedentary (S), recreational exercisers (R), and endurance trained (T). After a 24-h dietary preparation, blood was collected, and LDL subfractions were separated and analyzed for cholesterol (C) and apoprotein B100. Plasma triglyceride (TG) concentration was assessed before and at 2, 4, 6, and 8 h after fat meal. PP-HTG was significantly higher for the S group compared with the two activity groups. LDL3-C and LDL3-apoprotein B100 were significantly higher for the S group compared with the T group and for men compared with women. These findings suggest that both recreational and competitive aerobic training are associated with a lower TG response after a fatty meal. However, higher volume aerobic training may be necessary to reduce the number of dense LDL molecules and their cholesterol content.