Changes in metabolic syndrome severity following individualized versus standardized exercise prescription: A feasibility study

Ryan M. Weatherwax, Joyce S. Ramos, Nigel K. Harris, Andrew E. Kilding, Lance C. Dalleck

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This study sought to investigate the efficacy of standardized versus individualized exercise intensity prescription on metabolic syndrome (MetS) severity following a 12-week exercise intervention. A total of 38 experimental participants (47.8 ± 12.2 yr, 170.7 ± 8.0 cm, 82.6 ± 18.7 kg, 26.9 ± 6.7 mL·k−1·min−1) were randomized to one of two exercise interventions (exercise intensity prescribed using heart rate reserve or ventilatory threshold). Following the 12-week intervention, MetS z-score was significantly improved for the standardized (−2.0 ± 3.1 to −2.8 ± 2.8 [p = 0.01]) and individualized (−3.3 ± 2.3 to −3.9 ± 2.2 [p = 0.04]) groups. When separating participants based on prevalence of MetS at baseline and MetS z-score responsiveness, there were six and three participants in the standardized and individualized groups, respectively, with three or more MetS risk factors. Of the six participants in the standardized group, 83% (5/6) of the participants were considered responders, whereas 100% (3/3) of the individualized participants were responders. Furthermore, only 17% (1/6) of the participants with MetS at baseline in the standardized group no longer had symptoms of MetS following the intervention. In the individualized group, 67% (2/3) of participants with baseline MetS were not considered to have MetS at week 12. These findings suggest that an individualized approach to the exercise intensity prescription may ameliorate the severity of MetS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2594
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018. This work is licensed under (the “License”). Notwithstanding the ProQuest Terms and Conditions, you may use this content in accordance with the terms of the License.


  • Exercise non-responders
  • HRR
  • MetS z-score
  • Personalized medicine
  • Training responsiveness
  • Ventilatory threshold


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