Effects of high intensity resistance training versus HIIT on cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight people

Cardiovascular and cardiometabolic diseases are the cause of millions of deaths worldwide. Exercise supports a healthy cardiometabolic profile, although the most effective exercise modality in this regard has yet to be determined.

Hundreds of investigations have been conducted in the past decade on the effects of high intensity aerobic interval training (HIIT) on cardiometabolic health, but hardly any studies have been conducted evaluating the effects of high intensity resistance training (HIT-RT).).


The results of a study have recently been published (Tuttor et al, 2020; Front Sports Act Living 2:68; doi: 10.3389 / fspor.2020.00068) with the objective of comparing the effects of HIIT versus HIT-RT, on cardiometabolic parameters in untrained middle-aged men who are overweight or obese. Subjects between 30 and 50 years of age participated, the groups being randomly assigned: HIIT, HIT-RT or control. The HIIT group performed 90 s intervals for 12 min (2-4 sessions / week), HIT-RT, trained 2-3 sessions / week with series until muscle failure. The training took place for 16 weeks. The results showed that both interventions improved the indicators of metabolic syndrome, although the effect of HIIT was greater. In parallel, both exercise protocols improved stroke volume and myocardial mass, but with the most pronounced effect with HIIT. Both workouts improved cardiometabolic risk factors, although HIIT obtained greater positive adaptations in cardiometabolic risk and cardiac adaptation.


The results suggest that young overweight / obese people can select their preferred exercise modality (HIIT vs HIT-RT) to improve cardiometabolic health.

JL. Chicharro (PhD) Opinion:

I have already discussed the effectiveness of strength training in improving the cardiometabolic health of people using this training modality several times. Until not many years ago, aerobic training was the only type of exercise that was linked to health, especially cardiac or cardiocirculatory, but today we have enough data to affirm that, as a whole, strength training shows advantages for our health similar to those obtained by classic aerobic training. From my point of view, a combination of strength training and aerobic training of a certain intensity (preferably interval type) is the ideal combination to maintain an optimal state of cardiometabolic health.


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