Bone Mineral Density and Muscle Mass in Masters Olympic Weightlifters and Runners

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The authors examined the musculoskeletal implications of delayed exercise adoption in two distinct cohorts of masters athletes with ∼10 years of training experience: Olympic weightlifters (OWLs) and distance runners (RUNs). Total body and regional bone mineral density (BMD), and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived lean mass were compared in 51 OWLs and 43 RUNs. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted on BMD and lean mass with the exercise group (i.e., OWLs vs. RUNs), age, sex, and years of experience as independent variables. Age was associated (p < .05) with less femoral (β = −0.25) and lumbar (β = −0.27) BMD. Total body (β = 0.23), lumbar (β = 0.25), and radial (β = 0.36) BMD were greater (p < .05) in OWLs versus RUNs. Lean mass was greater in OWLs versus RUNs (β = 0.29, p < .01), but did not relate to total body BMD (r = .15; p = .08). Greater total and regional BMD and lean mass in OWLs compared with RUNs may reduce risk for developing osteoporosis and/or sarcopenia and associated downstream health outcomes.

Erickson and Grosicki contributed equally to this study. The authors are with the Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology, Biodynamics and Human Performance Center, Georgia Southern University (Armstrong Campus), Savannah, GA, USA.

Riemann (briemann@georgiasouthern.edu) is corresponding author.
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