Sports Medicine

, Volume 46, Issue 12, pp 1809–1818 | Cite as

Combined Aerobic and Resistance Training Effects on Glucose Homeostasis, Fitness, and Other Major Health Indices: A Review of Current Guidelines

  • Neil M. JohannsenEmail author
  • Damon L. Swift
  • Carl J. Lavie
  • Conrad P. Earnest
  • Steven N. Blair
  • Timothy S. Church
Review Article


The combination of aerobic and resistance training (AER + RES) is recommended by almost every major organization to improve health-related risk factors associated with sedentary behavior. Since the release of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008, several large well-controlled trials and ancillary reports have been published that provide further insight into the effects of AER + RES on health-related outcomes. The current manuscript examines the literature on the effects of AER + RES on major clinical outcomes, including glucose homeostasis, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and muscular strength, as well as other important clinical outcomes, including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and quality of life. Collectively, research suggests that AER + RES and AER or RES alone improves glycemic control and insulin sensitivity compared with continued sedentary behavior. Significant changes in CRF are also observed, suggesting a reduction in cardiovascular disease-related mortality risk. Reduced adiposity, especially abdominal adiposity, and increased strength may also interact with CRF to promote additional health benefits associated with AER + RES. While findings from our review support current physical activity guidelines, a paucity of research limits the generalizability of the results.


Sedentary Behavior Functional Fitness Moderate Dyslipidemia Dare Study Ancillary Report 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Author Contributions

Neil Johannsen, Timothy Church, Damon Swift, Carl Lavie, Steven Blair and Conrad Earnest contributed to the review’s concept and design, drafted the manuscript, contributed critical revisions of the manuscript for important intellectual content, and reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.

Conflict of Interest

Neil Johannsen, Damon Swift, Carl Lavie, Conrad Earnest, Steven Blair and Timothy Church declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil M. Johannsen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Damon L. Swift
    • 3
  • Carl J. Lavie
    • 2
    • 4
  • Conrad P. Earnest
    • 5
  • Steven N. Blair
    • 6
  • Timothy S. Church
    • 2
  1. 1.School of KinesiologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Preventive MedicinePennington Biomedical Research CenterBaton RougeUSA
  3. 3.Department of KinesiologyEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular InstituteOchsner Clinical School-The University of Queensland School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  5. 5.Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  6. 6.Arnold School of Public HealthUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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