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Cardiovasc J Afr. 2009 Sep-Oct;20(5):290-5.

Comparison of aerobic and combined aerobic and resistance training on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations in men.

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Department of Marketing and Sport Management, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark.


While aerobic training and, to a lesser degree, resistance training are known to reduce blood concentrations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), little is known about the effects of a combination of aerobic and resistance training on LDL-C concentrations. The aim of the investigation was to examine the effects of 16 weeks of no exercise, aerobic training or a combination of aerobic and resistance training on lowering blood concentrations of LDL-C. Thirty-eight healthy, previously untrained men (mean age: 25 years and six months) with borderline high blood LDL-C concentrations volunteered to participate in this investigation. Each subject's blood LDL-C concentrations were measured following a nine- to 12-hour fasting period and prior to any exercise. Aerobic training consisted of exercise using a combination of treadmills, rowers, steppers and cycle ergometers. Combined aerobic and resistance training consisted of a combination of aerobic training at 60% of heart rate maximum, and resistance training using eight prescribed exercises performed for two sets of 15 repetitions at 60% of the estimated one-repetition maximum (1-RM). The no-exercise group was found to have had no significant (p < or = 0.05) change in blood LDL-C concentrations (from 4.12 +/- 0.27 to 4.21 +/- 0.42 mmol.l- (1)), whereas the aerobic training and combined training groups showed significant and similar (p = 0.123) decreases in blood LDL-C concentrations (from 3.64 +/- 2.87 to 2.87 +/- 0.64 mmol.l- (1) and from 4.39 +/- 1.04 to 3.23 +/- 0.71 mmol.l- (1), respectively). This investigation indicates that a larger dose of aerobic exercise does not necessarily equate to a greater improvement in LDL-C concentrations if the lost aerobic exercise time is replaced with resistance exercise.

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