Short duration resistance training results in early and progressive increases in muscle mass and function and an increase in insulin sensitivity.
Short bursts of high-intensity resistance training improved insulin sensitivity for relatively young, overweight or obese men.
A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow recruited 10 overweight men to carry out three sessions per week of 15-20 minutes of resistance exercise. The trial lasted for six weeks. Each session involved a single set of nine exercises which were performed until reaching muscle fatigue.
The participants were aged between 28 and 44 years old with BMI between 26 and 32 kg/m2. Their fitness levels, insulin sensitivity, and muscle strength were measured at the start and after each week of the study.
Insulin sensitivity is a marker for whether a person is at risk of type 2 diabetes. If the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of the hormone insulin, blood glucose levels can rise leading to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
A 16 percent improvement in insulin sensitivity was recorded along with improvements in muscle strength.
The study indicates that short bursts of exercise through the week, carried out on a regular basis, can have substantial effects on improving insulin sensitivity which could help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
It will be interesting to see how a similar exercise regimen could benefit insulin sensitivity for people of both genders who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The findings have been published in the journal Experimental Physiology.