Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2022 Nov 18. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00482.2022. Online ahead of print.
AIMS: This study compared differences in cardiovascular (CV) risk factor responses between males and females following endurance (END) and resistance (RES) training. We present the frequency of responders to each training modality, and the magnitude of response.
METHODS: Using a randomized cross-over design, 68 healthy adults (age: F: 24.5±4.6; M: 27.3±6.6) completed 3-months of RES and END, with 3-months washout. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), strength, body composition, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and lipids were measured.
RESULTS: VO2peak (L/min) significantly increased in both sexes following END, but not RES. The magnitude of change was larger in males (F: +0.20 L/min; M: +0.32 L/min), although this did not achieve statistical significance (P=0.051). Strength significantly increased in both sexes following RES (P<0.01), with a larger increase in males (Leg press: F: +39kg; M: +63kg; P<0.05). Lean mass significantly increased in both sexes (P<0.01) following RES and fat mass decreased in females following END (P=0.019). The change in C-reactive protein following END was significantly different between sexes (F: -0.4 mg/L; M: +0.5 mg/L; P=0.035). There were no differences between sexes in the proportion of individuals who responded positively to any variable following RES or END; differences between sexes were due to the magnitude of change.
CONCLUSIONS: Males had a larger increase in VO2peak following END, and strength following RES. There were no sex differences in other CV risk factors. This suggests differences in physiological responses to strength and VO2peak may not translate to changes in CV risk in healthy subjects.