Effects of short-term, medium-term and long-term resistance exercise training on cardiometabolic health outcomes in adults: systematic review with meta-analysis

Ruth E Ashton, Garry A Tew, Jonathan J Aning, Stephen E Gilbert, Liane Lewis, John M Saxton

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of short-term, medium-term and long-term resistance exercise training (RET) on measures of cardiometabolic health in adults. DESIGN: Intervention systematic review. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE and Cochrane Library databases were searched from inception to February 2018. The search strategy included the following keywords: resistance exercise, strength training and randomised controlled trial. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Randomised controlled trials published in English comparing RET≥2 weeks in duration with a non-exercising control or usual care group. Participants were non-athletic and aged ≥18 years. RESULTS: A total of 173 trials were included. Medium-term and long-term RET reduced systolic blood pressure (-4.02 (95% CI -5.92 to -2.11) mm Hg, p<0.0001 and -5.08 (-10.04 to -0.13) mm Hg, p=0.04, respectively) and diastolic blood pressure (-1.73 (-2.88 to -0.57) mm Hg, p=0.003 and -4.93 (-8.58 to -1.28) mm Hg, p=0.008, respectively) versus control. Medium-term RET elicited reductions in fasted insulin and insulin resistance (-0.59 (-0.97 to -0.21) µU/mL, p=0.002 and -1.22 (-2.29 to -0.15) µU/mL, p=0.02, respectively). The effects were greater in those with elevated cardiometabolic risk or disease compared with younger healthy adults. The quality of evidence was low or very low for all outcomes. There was limited evidence of adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: RET may be effective for inducing improvements in cardio metabolic health outcomes in healthy adults and those with an adverse cardio metabolic risk profile.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Early online date22 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jun 2018


  • cardiovascular
  • systematic review
  • strength training
  • exercise training

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