In both developed and developing countries, increased prevalence of obesity has been strongly associated with increased incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the adult population. Previous research has emphasized the importance of physical activity in the prevention and management of obesity and T2DM, and generic exercise guidelines originally developed for the wider population have been adapted for these specific populations. However, the guidelines traditionally focus on aerobic training without due consideration to other exercise modalities. Recent reviews on resistance training in the T2DM population have not compared this modality with others including aerobic training, or considered the implications of resistance training for individuals suffering from both obesity and T2DM. In short, the optimal mix of exercise modalities in the prescription of exercise has not been identified for it benefits to the metabolic, body composition and muscular health markers common in obesity and T2DM. Similarly, the underlying physical, social and psychological barriers to adopting and maintaining exercise, with the potential to undermine the efficacy of exercise interventions, have not been addressed in earlier reviews. Because it is well established that aerobic exercise has profound effects on obesity and T2DM risk, the purpose of this review was to address the importance of resistance training to obese adults with T2DM. © 2009 International Association for the Study of Obesity.