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Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) produces a host of health benefits related to modifiable cardiovascular risk factors. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the influence of body weight, assessed through BMI, on acute and long-term improvements in aerobic capacity following completion of CR. Three thousand nine hundred and ninety seven subjects with coronary artery disease (CAD) participated in a 12-week multidisciplinary CR program. Subjects underwent an exercise test to determine peak estimated metabolic equivalents (eMETs) and BMI assessment at baseline, immediately following CR completion and at 1-year follow-up. Normal weight subjects at 1-year follow-up demonstrated the greatest improvement in aerobic fitness and best retention of those gains (gain in peak METs: 0.95 ± 1.1, P < 0.001). Although the improvement was significant (P < 0.001), subjects who were initially classified as obese had the lowest aerobic capacity and poorest retention in CR fitness gains at 1-year follow-up (gain in peak eMETs: 0.69 ± 1.2). Subjects initially classified as overweight by BMI had a peak eMET improvement that was also significantly better (P < 0.05) than obese subjects at 1-year follow-up (gain in peak eMETs: 0.82 ± 1.1). Significant fitness gains, one of the primary beneficial outcomes of CR, can be obtained by all subjects irrespective of BMI classification. However, obese patients have poorer baseline fitness and are more likely to “give back” fitness gains in the long term. Obese CAD patients may therefore benefit from additional interventions to enhance the positive adaptations facilitated by CR.