The aim of the present study was to determine whether a single session of resistance exercise improves whole-body insulin sensitivity in healthy men for up to 24 h. Twelve male subjects (23 +/- 1 years) were studied over a period of 4 days during which they consumed a standardized diet, providing 0.16 +/- 0.01 MJ.kg(-1).day(-1) containing 15 +/- 0.1 energy% (En%) protein, 29 +/ -0.1 En% fat and 55 +/- 0.3 En% carbohydrate. Insulin sensitivity was determined 24 h before and 24 h after a single resistance exercise session (8 sets of 10 repetitions at 75% of 1 repetition maximum for two leg exercise tasks) using an intravenous insulin tolerance test. Insulin sensitivity index was calculated by the decline in arterial blood glucose concentration following intravenous administration of a single bolus of human insulin (0.075 IU.kg(-1) fat free mass). Basal glucose and insulin concentrations were not changed up to 24 h after the resistance exercise. However, a substantial 13+/-5% improvement in whole-body insulin sensitivity was observed, 24 h after the resistance exercise (P < 0.05). This study shows that even a single session of resistance exercise improves whole-body insulin sensitivity for up to 24 h in healthy men, which is consistent with earlier observations following endurance exercise tasks.