A research team of the Goethe University Frankfurt did a multilevel meta-analysis with random effects meta-regression model to pool the standardized mean differences between resistance exercise and no-exercise as well as between resistance exercise and aerobic exercise. In addition to global cognitive function, effects on reported sub-domains were examined.
Compared to no-exercise, resistance exercise had a positive effect on global cognition, but was not superior to aerobic exercise. Regarding cognitive sub-domains, resistance exercise, compared to no-exercise, improved inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility. In contrast, working memory and attention remained unaffected. No significant differences in sub-domains were found between resistance exercise and aerobic exercise.
Exp Ther Med. 2019 Feb; 17(2): 1143–1148.