Aerobic and resistance exercise training effects on body composition, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness in an HIV-1 population

Curt L. Lox, Edward McAuley, R. Shawn Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although HIV-1 infection rates peaked in the 1980s in the United States, advanced stage HIV disease will grow by about 40% in the next 40 years. This fact has signaled the need for intervention strategies that go beyond primary prevention and into treatment of the complications associated with this chronic disease. Recently, the role of exercise in reversing the wasting process experienced by individuals with HIV-1 has received much needed attention. The purpose of this study was to examine the independent contributions of a 12-week aerobic or resistance weight training exercise regimen in improving body composition, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness in an HIV-1 population. Participants for this study (N=33) were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise training group, a resistance weight training group, or a stretching/flexibility control group. Measures of body composition, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness were assessed both prior to and following completion of the intervention. In general, the results revealed significant improvements in the amount of lean muscle tissue, upper and lower body muscular strength, and predicted VO2max for exercise participants, whereas control participants experienced declines in all physiological measures. Based on these findings, it is suggested that exercise may be one complimentary therapeutic modality capable of combating the wasting process associated with advanced HIV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996



  • AIDS
  • Body composition
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Exercise
  • HIV-1
  • Muscular strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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