Aerobic and anaerobic performance before and after a short-term body mass reduction program in obese subjects

A. Sartorio, M. V. Narici, E. Fumagalli, G. Faglia, C. L. Lafortuna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cardiovascular response to an aerobic cycloergometer exercise test (ACET, 15 min at 60 W, 60 rpm) and the maximally attainable muscle power output, assessed by a stair climbing test (SCT), were evaluated in 60 obese patients (41 females and 19 males; age: 18-68 yr; body mass index, BMI: 40.8±4.8 kg/m2) before and after a 3-week body mass reduction (BMR) program, entailing integrated energy-restricted diet (1200-1500 kcal/day), low-grade aerobic exercise conditioning and individual and/or group psychological therapy. The daily conditioning protocol (5 days/week) consisted of: 1) 30 min of indoor jogging and dynamic aerobic standing and floor exercises performed with arms and legs, under the guidance of a therapist; 2) 30 min of cycloergometer exercise at 60 W; and/or 3) 4-km outdoor leisure walking on flat terrain. Three weeks of BMR program induced a significant weight loss (-4.5%; p-1). In conclusion, a combination of energy restricted diet, low intensity aerobic exercise and psychological counselling appears to significantly improve both aerobic and anaerobic performance in morbidly obese subjects. Different factors (ie, reduction of body mass, shift in the balance between parasympathetic and sympathetic activity, a weight-loss dependent shift toward a more favourable region of the muscle power-velocity curve, acquisition of a certain degree of motor skillfulness during the conditioning program, improvement of self-esteem and motivation) might be responsible, alone or in combination, for these short-term positive effects of BMR program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes, Nutrition and Metabolism - Clinical and Experimental
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Muscle performance
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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