The Effect of Resistance Training to Failure on Insulin Sensitivity and Muscle Adaptations in Overweight Men

  • Siti Syahirah Aqilah Shafee Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Perlis
  • Harris Kamal Kamaruddin Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Perlis
  • Al-Hafiz Abu Bakar Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Perlis
  • Stuart Gray University of Glasgow
  • Ellail Ain Mohd Aznan Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Perlis
  • Masshera Jamaludin Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Perlis
  • Ahmad Dzulkarnain Ismail Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Perlis


Background: Insulin resistance, systemic inflammation, body fat development, and energy imbalances are all associated with inactivity. In Asian populations, resistance training (RT) has been proven to be similarly helpful for diabetic controls. RT voluntary to failure is the inability to perform a repetition over a full range of motion with a given overload due to fatigue and more advantageous since it ensures the recruitment of most motor units and muscle fibres. Objective: To investigate the effects of 6 weeks of resistance exercise training, compromised of 1 session/week (RT1) and 3 sessions/week (RT3) voluntary to failure on overweight men. Besides that, this study also  determine the early time – course of RT voluntary to failure on muscle strength, and muscle mass on overweight men. Methods: 20 overweight men have engaged in a program of 6 weeks RT voluntary to failure. The exercises consist of upper and lower exercises; inclined leg press, bench press, leg extension, shoulder press, hip abduction, seated row, calf raise, latissimus pulldown, and biceps curl. For group RT1, participants performed the exercise in one session per week, while participants of group RT3 did the exercise in 3 sessions per week. Each participant performed approximately 60 minutes of RT voluntary to failure every week at 80% of their one-repetition maximum (1RM) effort. The 1RM test was performed at baseline, week 3 of RT and post–intervention while insulin sensitivity (HOMA – IR) was performed at baseline and post-intervention. Result: Insulin sensitivity – HOMA-IR difference of 1.07% (RT1) and 2.78% (RT3), Muscle mass (kg) increment of 1.44% (RT1) and 1.13% (RT3), and body fat (%) decrement of 1.41% (RT1) and 2.95% (RT3). The differences in the total sum of strength for both groups were not more than 10% of the nine exercises RT voluntary of failure for 6 weeks, 3891kg (RT1) and 3745kg (RT3). Conclusion: An improvement in insulin sensitivity (HOMA – IR), muscle mass (kg) and body fat (%) were seen after 6 weeks of single–set RT voluntary to failure in both groups. However, RT1 had an improvement in muscle mass only while RT3 had good results in insulin sensitivity and body fat (%). Both groups experienced an increase in muscle strength. By our findings, RT voluntary to failure can assist those in overweight population to improve their insulin sensitivity and muscle adaptations and it can also be utilised as a substitute for those who had a time constraint to exercise.


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How to Cite
SHAFEE, Siti Syahirah Aqilah et al. The Effect of Resistance Training to Failure on Insulin Sensitivity and Muscle Adaptations in Overweight Men. Jurnal Intelek, [S.l.], v. 18, n. 1, p. 186-194, jan. 2023. ISSN 2231-7716. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 sep. 2023. doi: