The present study was designed to investigate the effects of exercise training on resting metabolic rate (RMR) in moderately obese women. It was hypothesized that exercise training would increase resting metabolic rate. Nineteen previously sedentary, moderately obese women (age = 38.0 ± 0.9 years, percent body fat = 37.5 ± 0.8) trained for 20 weeks using either resistance training (RT) or a combination of resistance training arid walking (RT/W). The high intensity resistance training program was designed to increase strength and fat-free mass and the walking program to increase aerobic capacity. There was also a non-exercising control group (C) of 9 subjects in this study. Fat-free mass was significantly increased in both the RT (+1.90 kg) and RT/W (+1.90 kg) groups as a result of the training program. No group showed significant changes in fat mass or relative body fat from pre- to post-training. Aerobic capacity was slightly, though significantly, increased in the RT/W group only. The RT group showed a significant increase (+44 kcal · day−1), while the RT/W group showed a significant decrease (-53 kcal · day−1) in resting metabolic rate post-training. RT can potentiate an increase in RMR through an increase in fat-free mass, and the decrease in RMR in the RT/W group may have been a result of heat acclimation from the walk training.
H.K. Byrne is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport at the State University of New York at Brockport, 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport, NY 14420. J.H. Wilmore is the Head of the Department of Health and Kinesiology, 158 Read, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4243.