High-Intensity Single-Leg Cycling Improves Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Profile

Nicole Gordon, Chris R Abbiss, Andrew J Maiorana, Anthony P James, Karin Clark, Kieran J Marston, Jeremiah J Peiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease through risk factor modification, with high-intensity exercise and more recently small muscle mass training providing alternatives to moderate-intensity exercise.

METHODS: This study randomly assigned 53 healthy middle-age adults (age, 62 ± 6 yr) to complete 24 sessions (8 wk; 3 d·wk) of exercise training, using either high-intensity double-leg cycling (n = 17; HITDL), high-intensity single-leg cycling (n = 18; HITSL), or moderate-intensity double-leg cycling (n = 18; MCTDL). Biomarkers of cardiovascular risk (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-c, LDL-c, apo-B48, and glucose), anthropometry measures (body mass, body mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio), resting blood pressure, and aerobic capacity were assessed pre- and postintervention.

RESULTS: Total work completed was greater (P < 0.01) in MCTDL (5938 ± 1462 kJ) compared with the HITDL (3462 ± 1063 kJ) and HITSL (4423 ± 1875 kJ). Pre- to posttraining differences were observed for waist-to-hip ratio (0.84 ± 0.09 vs 0.83 ± 0.09; P < 0.01), resting systolic blood pressure (129 ± 11 vs 124 ± 12 mm Hg; P < 0.01), total cholesterol (5.87 ± 1.17 vs 5.55 ± 0.98 mmol·L; P < 0.01), and LDL-c (3.70 ± 1.04 vs 3.44 ± 0.84 mmol·L; P < 0.01), with no differences between conditions. In addition, aerobic capacity increased after training (22.3 ± 6.4 vs 24.9 ± 7.6 mL·kg·min; P < 0.01), with no differences between conditions.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that all three modes of exercise can be prescribed to achieve cardiovascular risk reduction in an aging population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2234-2242
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


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