Effects of high-intensity exercise training on body composition, abdominal fat loss, and cardiorespiratory fitness in middle-aged Korean females

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Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism


The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of high-intensity exercise training under relatively equal energy expenditure on whole body fat and abdominal fat loss, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Twenty-two untrained middle-aged Korean females were randomized into one of the following groups: control, low-intensity training group (LI), and high-intensity training group (HI). Subjects completed 14 weeks of training at 50% maximal oxygen consumption (LI) or 70% maximal oxygen consumption (HI) with the volume of exercise equated relative to kilograms of body weight. Weekly exercise volumes were 13.5 METs{dot operator}h/week for the first 4 weeks, 18 METs{dot operator}h/week for next 5 weeks, and 22.5 METs{dot operator}h/week for the final 5 weeks. Data were analyzed using 2-way repeated measures ANOVA with post hoc test, using Bonferroni's correction. HI showed significant reductions in fat mass (p < 0.05), total abdominal fat (p < 0.01), and subcutaneous abdominal fat (p < 0.01). LI reduced total abdominal fat (p < 0.05), but there were no other significant changes found in the control or LI groups. Maximal oxygen consumption was enhanced in both HI and LI with no significant group difference. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased significantly in HI (p < 0.05). IL-6, C-reactive protein, TNF-a, and other blood lipids were unaltered following training. Results indicate that high-intensity exercise training is more beneficial in whole body and abdominal fat loss; however, cardiorespiratory enhancement shows a dose-response relationship with weekly exercise volume. It is suggested that 14 weeks of aerobic exercise training at either high- or lowintensity is not sufficient enough to induce changes in levels of inflammatory proteins.

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