The impact of acute resistance training on irisin in younger and older adults living with overweight or obesity

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University of New Brunswick


BACKGROUND: Exercise is a cornerstone for the prevention and management of overweight and/or obesity (OW/OB). Studies suggest that exercise-induced irisin impacts metabolism and health. However, no study has quantified the impact of biological aging on resistance training (RT)-induced increase in irisin. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine whether irisin concentration would increase during an acute RT bout and to compare irisin release between younger and older adults living with OW/OB. METHODS: Adults aged between 19-35 (25.9 ± 5.0; n=15) and 60-80 years old (67.7 ± 4.1; n=14) living with OW/OB participated in this study. The primary exposure variable was an acute bout of RT, which consisted of 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions at 65-70% of 1- Repetition Maximum and 3 minutes each of squats and step-box. The primary outcome measure was the concentration of irisin quantified by ELISA before, during, and after the acute bout of RT. RESULTS: Significant differences were observed between younger and older adults in waist circumference, body fat, fitness levels, and muscle strength (all p < 0.05). However, no differences were observed in physical activity levels (young: 46.0 ± 45.5 vs. older adults: 31.2 ± 30.8 min.; p > 0.05) nor body mass index (young: 28.6 ± 4.0 vs. older adults: 29.8 ± 4.7 kg/m2; p > 0.05). Repeated measures analyses showed no effect of time on irisin during acute RT, and no interaction effect between age and time (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study suggest that there is no impact of biological aging on the acute release of irisin during RT in individuals living with OW/OB. Further studies are needed to elucidate the irisin response to acute exercise with different modalities/intensities of exercise.