Resistance Exercise and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Resistance Exercise and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

More than 34 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. It has been a long held belief that resistance exercise has a positive impact on the effects and occurrence of diabetes. This is principally accomplished by exhausting the muscle (demanding maximum energy production) therefore causing the muscle to utilize all of its stored glycogen and as a result creating room for glycogen circulating in the blood to be stored in the muscle. Thus reducing insulin levels and increasing insulin sensitivity. A group of researchers recently set out to further examine and solidify this belief.

Study Groups:

Participants were all current type 2 diabetics who had previously engaged in routine care. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of two groups

1. Continue with routine care (or)

2. Receive the high intensity of effort resistance training intervention (1 set of 8-12 repetitions per exercise for 10 exercises).


Both groups received disease management education with no additional intervention for the first 6 months. For the ensuing 6 months both groups followed their group specific intervention protocol (resistance exercise or none) and were tested afterwards. Finally, both groups were followed up with for a final 12 months before conclusive testing.


Control/Routine care group:

During the initial 6-months of routine care significant improvements were noted for waist circumference, body fat mass, lean mass, body fat percentage, lean mass percentage, visceral fat mass, HbA1c (blood glucose), fasted blood glucose, and subjective well being. During the successive 6-months (intervention) and 18-months (follow-up), data suggest that many of these positive changes during the initial 6-months were negated or reversed for the control group.

Resistance exercise intervention group:

Participants engaging in resistance exercise continued to show positive changes for waist circumference, body fat mass, lean mass, body fat percentage, lean mass percentage, and visceral fat. For blood markers and wellbeing, HbA1c continued to decrease, fasted blood glucose decreased, and subjective well being continued to increase. These positive responses were still evidenced and significantly different compared to control group after the 12-months

Take home message:

Adding high intensity of effort resistance exercise alongside routine care for Type 2 diabetes can have a significant positive impact on a range of outcomes and can help reverse the effects of the disease.

Make 2022 Your Best Year Ever

Every new client receives a Free Introductory Session.

Book Your Free Introductory Session Now