Physical activity is a powerful lifestyle factor that on average reduces the risk for developing Type II diabetes. Further, a lack of fitness has been shown to be a better predictor of illness and premature death than some other factors that many people seem more concerned about, such as high blood pressure.

However, whilst some individuals respond very well to exercise training, with regard to improvements in health and fitness, others do not respond at all. We, for example, have previously shown that following supervised endurance exercise training, 20% of subjects show no change in fitness and 30% demonstrate no improvement in insulin sensitivity.

The objective of Metapredict is to discover if individualised lifestyle strategies can be developed to fight or prevent metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

Biomarkers are measureable characteristics that can be used as an indicator of whether the body is healthy or is in a particular diseased state. The Metapredict project plans to identify molecular biomarkers and study the response to exercise and training. The concept is that by using molecular profiling of blood/muscle samples we will develop personalised lifestyle intervention tools.

Our research is supported by EU-funding of €6 million and is carried out by an international multidisciplinary research consortium including medical staff, physiologists, and experts in genetics, genomics, informatics, and metabolism.

High Intensity Training

Metapredict has set out to study how 300 people across the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Canada and the United States respond to a 10-week supervised exercise-training programme.

The study group will train for 15 minutes for three days a week. We will then conduct a number of physiological tests such as monitoring their appetite, body fat, fitness levels and metabolism.

A major aspect of the current project will be High-Intensity Training (HIT), a programme developed during a previous study which took over eight years and involved hundreds of volunteers from the United Kingdom and Canada who cycled on an exercise bike for 20-30 seconds three times a week.

HIT was discovered to use far more muscle tissue than classic aerobic exercise. So the aim now is to decipher for whom it works best for, and how it impacts on body composition and other important health parameters.