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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 11, pp 2289–2297 | Cite as

Small-sided games training reduces CRP, IL-6 and leptin in sedentary, middle-aged men

  • Amy E. MendhamEmail author
  • Rob Duffield
  • Frank Marino
  • Aaron J. Coutts
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Long-term physical activity is reported to improve chronic systemic inflammation, which provides protection against the ensuing development of chronic disease. Accordingly, the present study assessed changes in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, aerobic capacity and body composition following 8 weeks of either small-sided games (SSG) or cycling (CYC) training compared to a sedentary control (CON) condition.

Methods

Thirty-three middle-aged, sedentary men were randomized into CYC (n = 11), SSG (n = 11), or CON (n = 11) conditions. The CYC and SSG conditions trained 3 days/week for 8 weeks, whilst CON maintained habitual activity and dietary patterns. Pre- and post-intervention testing included a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan, sub-maximal (80 % maximal heart rate) aerobic capacity (VO2) and fasting venous blood. Venous blood measures for pro-inflammatory markers included C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and leptin; anti-inflammatory markers included IL-10, IL-1 receptor agonist, and adiponectin.

Results

Both CYC and SSG increased submaximal power output and VO2 (P < 0.05), decreased total body fat-mass (TB-FM; P < 0.05), and CRP (SSG, −0.45 ± 0.42 mg L−1; P = 0.008; CYC, −0.44 ± 0.59 mg L−1; P = 0.02). Only SSG increased total body fat-free mass (TB-FFM; +1.1 ± 1.2 kg; P = 0.001) and decreased concentration of plasma IL-6 (−0.69 ± 0.62 pg mL−1; P = 0.002) and leptin (−2,212 ± 2,531 ng mL−1; P = 0.014).

Conclusion

Cycling and SSG training were both effective at improving CRP, VO2 and TB-FM. Furthermore, SSG training has also shown to be an effective training approach in reducing IL-6 and leptin and increasing muscle mass within sedentary, middle-aged men.

Keywords

Obesity Body composition Inflammation Adiponectin Cytokines Cycling Football Team sports 

Abbreviations

BMI

Body mass index

CON

Control

CRP

C-reactive protein

CVD

Cardiovascular disease

CYC

Cycling

DEXA

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry

GLUT4

Glucose transporter 4

GPS

Global positioning satellite

GXT

Graded exercise test

HR

Heart rate

HRmax

Maximum heart rate

IL

Interleukin

Kp

Kilopond

VO2

Oxygen consumption

Ra

Receptor agonist

RPE

Rating of perceived exertion

RPM

Revolutions per minute

TB-FM

Total body fat mass

TB-FFM

Total-body fat-free mass

TNF-α

Tumor necrosis factor alpha

T2DM

Type 2 diabetes mellitus

SSG

Small-sided games

WHR

Waist-to-hip ratio

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the Faculty of Education Grant, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst for providing the funding required for blood analysis. The authors would also like to acknowledge staff at Pathology, Bathurst Base Hospital NSW, Australia, and the Institutional staff at Charles Sturt University Exercise Physiology Laboratories, Bathurst, NSW for assistance and support involving blood analysis. The authors would also like to thank the participants and research assistants for their involvement in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy E. Mendham
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rob Duffield
    • 2
  • Frank Marino
    • 1
  • Aaron J. Coutts
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Human Movement StudiesCharles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia
  2. 2.Sport and Exercise Discipline GroupUTS: Health, University of Technology Sydney (UTS)SydneyAustralia

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