Document Type


Publication Date



10.29011/CRCM-141. 000041

Publication Title

Cardiology Research and Cardiovascular Medicine






141 (1-4 pp.)


Introduction: While exercise is known to increase HDL-cholesterol, it is not known if larger exercise volumes produce larger increases in HDL. However, the range of exercise volumes used in most training studies is limited. This report presents a case study of a middle-aged male who engaged in large variations of exercise volume over 7 years while frequently measuring HDL. The purpose was to determine if large increases in exercise volume were associated with larger increases in HDL than previously reported.

Methods: The subject maintained detailed logs of his main form of exercise, bicycling. These logs were analyzed to determine the average distance cycled per week over the 8 weeks preceding each HDL measurement. A retrospective comparison of cycling distance and HDL was conducted on 6 ½ years of data. Then, the subject intentionally altered cycling distance to prospectively examine its effect on serum HDL in the subsequent 6 months.

Results: The subject averaged 58 to 585 km of bicycling per week over 8-week periods, which was estimated to be approximately 1,000-10,000 kcal.wk-1 of net energy expenditure. HDL varied from 50 to 84 mg.dL-1, and a strong positive relationship with exercise volume was observed during both the retrospective and prospective portions of the study.

Conclusion: Large increases in exercise volume were associated with large increases in HDL in a middle-aged male subject. These results suggest that the modest increases in HDL in most training studies may be due to the small exercise volume used.


This is an Open Access Journal Article Published Under Attribution-Share Alike CC BY-SA: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License. With this license readers can share, distribute, download, even commercially, as long as the original source is properly cited.

Copyright © 2018 David P. Swain.

Original Publication Citation

Swain, D. P. (2018). Effect of exercise volume on HDL-cholesterol: A 7-year case study. Cardiology Research and Cardiovascular Medicine, 3(1), Article 141.