Effects of resistance exercise and obesity level on ghrelin and cortisol in men

Gwendolyn A. Thomas, William J. Kraemer, Brett A. Comstock, Courtenay Dunn-Lewis, Jeff S. Volek, Craig R. Denegar, Carl M. Maresh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Resistance exercise (RE) is increasingly recommended by health organizations as a weight management tool. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an acute high-volume, whole-body RE protocol on the glucoregulatory and ghrelin response in sedentary obese and lean men. Five World Health Organization (WHO) class 1 obese (body mass index [BMI], 30.00-34.99) (age, 21.6 ± 2.5 years; height, 176.3 ± 3.7 cm; body mass, 97.8 ± 8.58 kg; body fat, 34.7% ± 2.95%), 5 WHO 2 (BMI, 35-39.99)/WHO 3 (BMI, ≥40) obese (age, 20.0 ± 1.4 years; height, 177.7 ± 5.15 cm; body mass, 120.8 ± 10.49 kg; body fat, 40.5% ± 5.82 %), and 9 lean men (age, 20.1 ± 2.1 years; height, 177.8 ± 8.7 cm; body mass, 71.7 ± 5.8 kg; body fat, 14.7% ± 3.54 %) completed an acute RE testing protocol (6 exercises, 3 sets of 10 repetitions at 85%-95% 10-repetition maximum with 120- and 90-second rest periods); and blood samples were collected pre-, mid-, and immediately postexercise and during recovery (+50, +70, and +110). Resistance exercise produced differences over time in cortisol, insulin, and glucose. Group differences were observed for ghrelin, with the WHO class 2/3 group having significantly greater ghrelin levels than the lean group (d = 0.28, P =.009) and the WHO class 1 group (d = 0.39, P =.002). Higher ghrelin was significantly associated with lower cortisol only in obese individuals. In addition, higher growth hormone was associated with lower ghrelin in lean individuals. Results suggest that glucoregulatory homeostasis is altered with increasing levels of obesity and that these alterations may mediate the response of cortisol and ghrelin in response to RE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-868
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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