Training status, resting metabolic rate, and cardiovascular disease risk in middle-aged men

Michael J. Toth, Andrew W. Gardner, Eric T. Poehlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


We investigated differences in resting metabolic rate (RMR) and cardiovascular disease risk factors among 86 middle-aged men (36 to 59 years) classified as resistance-trained ([RT] n = 19), aerobic-trained ([AT] n = 37), or untrained ([UT], n = 30) according to habitual exercise patterns. RMR, body composition, body fat distribution, supine blood pressure, maximal aerobic capacity (Vo2max), plasma lipid levels, and fasting levels of insulin, glucose, and thyroid hormones were measured. We found that RMR, adjusted for differences in fat-free mass, showed a tendency to be greater in AT men as compared with RT men (P = .09) and was greater in AT men as compared with UT men (P < .05). No differences in RMR were noted between RT and UT men. UT men had higher values for total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and the insulin to glucose ratio and lower values for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (all P < .01) as compared with RT and AT men, whereas no differences in these variables were noted between RT and AT men. Supine diastolic blood pressure was lower in RT men as compared with both AT and UT men. Stepwise regression analysis showed that variations in body fatness accounted for the greatest variation in fasting lipid profile, blood pressure, and the insulin to glucose ratio among groups. Furthermore, statistical control for body fatness either diminished or abolished differences in cardiovascular disease risk factors among training groups. We conclude that resting energy requirements are greater in middle-aged AT men as compared with RT and UT men. Furthermore, RT and AT men displayed a comparable cardiovascular risk profile despite large differences in Vo2max. These findings suggest that attainment of low levels of body fat (via high levels of energy expenditure and/or prudent dietary practices) is an important factor associated with a favorable cardiovascular risk profile in middle-aged men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-347
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

Cite this