OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effect of an intensive training program on fasting leptin and adiponectin levels. METHODS: Sixteen middle-aged men with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to either a training or control group. The training program consisted of 8 weeks of supervised endurance exercise (75% VO(2peak), 45 min) twice a week, with intermittent exercise (five 2 min exercises at 85% VO(2peak) separated by 3 min exercises at 50% VO(2peak)) once a week, on an ergocycle. RESULTS: Training decreased abdominal fat by 44%, increased mid-thigh muscle cross-sectional area by 24%, and improved insulin sensitivity by 58% without significant change in body weight. Compared with controls, no significant variation in leptin or adiponectin levels was observed. However, in the trained group, change in adiponectin correlated with change in body weight (Spearman rank correlation, r(s):-0.76, P=0.03) but not with insulin sensitivity or abdominal adiposity variations. CONCLUSIONS: An 8 week intensive training program inducing a marked reduction in abdominal fat and increase in insulin sensitivity does not affect adiponectin and leptin levels in men with type 2 diabetes.