This study aimed to establish whether vigorous-intensity exercise offers additional adipose-related health benefits and metabolic improvements compared to energy-matched moderate-intensity exercise. Thirty-eight sedentary overweight men (n = 24) and postmenopausal women (n = 14) aged 52 ± 5 years (mean ± standard deviations [SD]) were prescribed a 3-week energy deficit (29302 kJ∙week-1) achieved by increased isocaloric moderate or vigorousintensity exercise (+8372 kJ∙week-1) and simultaneous restricted energy intake (+20930 kJ∙week-1). Participants were randomly assigned to either an energymatched vigorous (VIG; n = 18) or moderate (MOD; n = 20) intensity exercise group (five times per week at 70% or 50% maximal oxygen uptake, respectively). At baseline and follow-up, fasted blood samples and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies were obtained and oral glucose tolerance tests conducted. Body mass was reduced similarly in both groups (Δ 2.4 ± 1.1 kg and Δ 2.4 ± 1.4 kg, respectively, P < 0.05). Insulinemic responses to a standard glucose load decreased similarly at follow-up relative to baseline in VIG (Δ 8.6 ± 15.4 nmol.120 min.l-1) and MOD (Δ 5.4 ± 8.5 nmol.120 min.l-1; P < 0.05). Expression of SREBP-1c and FAS in adipose tissue was significantly down-regulated, whereas expression of PDK4 and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) was significantly up-regulated in both groups (P < 0.05). Thus, when energy expenditure and energy deficit are matched, vigorous or moderateintensity exercise combined with energy restriction provide broadly similar (positive) changes in metabolic control and adipose tissue gene expression.
Walhin, J. P., Dixon, N. C., Betts, J. A., & Thompson, D. (2016). The impact of exercise intensity on whole body and adipose tissue metabolism during energy restriction in sedentary overweight men and postmenopausal women. Physiological Reports, 4(24). https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.13026