Effects of Progressive Resistance Training vs. High Intensity Interval Training on Neurotrophic and Cognitive Performance Factors in Overweight and Inactive People (BrainFit Study): Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Project: Research Project

Project Details


The current body of knowledge about the benefits of exercise as an effective strategy for the prevention and treatment of overweight and brain disorders is inconclusive. Therefore, it is important to implement strategies that bring about lifestyle changes. This study aims to compare the acute effects of a single high intensity interval training (HIIT), progressive resistance training (PRT) or combined training (HIIT + PRT) on neurotrophin-3 / neurotrophin-4 and BDNF changes, sex hormones and the physical activity enjoyment scale in a cohort of sedentary and overweight adults (age 18-30 years).

Methods / design: Sixty overweight sedentary males from Bogotá, Colombia will be included in a randomized controlled factorial trial. Participants will be randomly assigned to the following intervention groups: 1) no exercise group; 2) HIIT group: a single 4 × 4 minute session at intervals of 85-95% of maximum heart rate (HRmax) (with target area maintained for at least 2 min), interspersed with 4 min of recovery at 65% HRmax; 3) PRT group: a single session (twenty-five repetitions per set, from 40 to 80% of a maximum repetition) of 8 exercises aimed at all major muscle groups at high intensity, 60s recovery at 30% of FCmax as many times as necessary depending on the weight of the subject up to the expense of 500 kcal; 4) combined group: a single session (HIIT + PRT).

Discussion: The results of this study will provide new information on the possible effect of the program on the biological pathways involved in such potential benefits, including changes in neurotrophic factors, cognitive performance, sex hormones or exercise enjoyment of overweight individuals, and use of an adult's resources over time.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02915913 (Date: 22 September 2016).


Ensayo clínico, Sobrepeso, Factores neurotróficos, Inactividad Fisica, Funciones Cognitivas
Short titleBrainFit Study
Effective start/end date9/22/169/21/19

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • Installed Capacity (Academic Unit)


  • Bogotá D.C.


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