Endocrinology and Metabolism


The purpose of this experiment was to assess the effects of a 22-day training program on resting metabolic rate (RMR), thermic effect of a meal (TEM), and associated hormonal changes. Six pairs of male monozygotic twins were submitted to a 22-day ergocycle exercise program designed to induce a deficit in energy balance of 4.2 MJ per day. RMR and TEM after a 4.2-MJ meal challenge were measured before and after training. Results indicated that RMR and TEM did not change significantly, although a large variation in response between twin pairs was observed. Moreover, training reduced (P less than 0.05) basal and postprandial insulin response, plasma thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and FT4 (P less than 0.05). Absolute changes in RMR and TEM exhibited significant within-pair resemblance in response, with intraclass correlations reaching r = 0.81 (P less than 0.05) and r = 0.72 (P less than 0.05), respectively. Changes in T4 and FT4 also exhibited moderate within-pair resemblance (0.42 less than or equal to r less than or equal to 0.71). These results suggest that short-term exercise training does not modify RMR and TEM but can significantly decrease plasma levels of insulin and thyroid hormones. Moreover, the similarity of response within twin pairs suggests that heredity plays a role in determining RMR, TEM, and thyroid hormone adaptation to exercise training generating a negative energy balance.