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Effects of high-intensity resistance training on circulating levels of irisin in healthy adults: A randomized controlled trial

Effects of high-intensity resistance training on circulating levels of irisin in healthy adults: A randomized controlled trial

Fernandez del Valle, Maria, Short, Matthew J., Chung, Eunhee, Mccomb, Jacalyn J. Robert, Kloiber, Shelby, Naclerio, Fernando ORCID: 0000-0001-7405-4894 and Eneko, Larumbe (2018) Effects of high-intensity resistance training on circulating levels of irisin in healthy adults: A randomized controlled trial. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 9 (2). ISSN 2008-000X (Print), 2008-7209 (Online) (doi:

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Existing research suggests that irisin increases in response to exercise in humans. However, results are controversial and a majority of the studies lack a control group. The present study aimed to analyze the effects of both one-bout, and three-week intense resistance training on physical fitness (body composition and strength) and serum irisin levels when compared to a control group.

A total of 26 healthy young adults (n=14 males; 12 females) completed the pre-assessment phase, and were randomly assigned to either intervention or control group. Physical activity, diet, and physical fitness [strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and body composition] were assessed. Blood samples were collected at baseline, during and post one-bout of exercise, and baseline on sessions 1, 3, 6 and 9 of 3-week high intensity resistance training (3 times per week). Results. None of the ANOVA effects on irisin concentration were significant after one-bout of exercise or 3 weeks of resistance training. The intervention group showed large significant changes from pre to post in relative body fat (%BF) (t[13]=-3.37, p=0.003), and lean body mass (p=0.016, d=0.72). All muscle strength variables [1RM bench press (F[1,22]=19.54, p<0.001, <0.01); 1RM leg press (F[1,22]= 20.84, p<0.001, =0.03); bench press-to-body weight ratio (F[1,22]=18.93, p<0.001, =0.01); leg press-to-body weight ratio (F[1,22]=23.03, p<0.001, =0.05)] showed significant group by time interaction effects.

Serum irisin concentrations did not change during or post one-bout, nor during three-weeks of high-intensity resistance training compared to matched controls, while the program elicited significant changes in body composition and muscle strength in a group of healthy young adults. Additionally, no significant associations were found between irisin levels and physical activity, diet, or physical fitness. However, negative associations were found between baseline serum irisin concentrations and body composition (body weight and skeletal muscle mass) in males. Key words: irisin, high-intensity, resistance training, strength, body composition. Implications: There is still disagreement about the real effects of exercise on irisin levels, and the expected outcomes for different populations (i.e. young adults, elder, active, sedentary, etc.). Our randomized control trial study helped clarify the potential effects of acute and longer-term high intensity exercise on plasma irisin concentrations when compared to a control group. With this randomized controlled trial, researchers would have a reliable source about the proposed effects of resistance training interventions targeting irisin.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Resistance training, hormone, exercise, strength
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Exercise Activity and Rehabilitation
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2021 11:49
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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