The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of high-intensity strength training on bone mineral density (BMD) of 34 non-estrogen-repleted, active women over 60 years of age. The study was designed as a randomized, nonblinded trial in which subjects were stratified into rank-ordered pairs by level of physical activity, then randomly assigned into either a weight training (WT) or a control (CON) group. BMD of the spine (L2–L4), hip, and total body was assessed at 0, 6, and 12 months by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Group-by-time repeated-measures ANOVA demonstrated no effect of weight training on BMD, despite marked gains in muscular strength for all exercises. The high-intensity weight training utilized in this study did not induce positive changes in BMD of the hip and spine of previously active, non-estrogen-repleted older women. However, the protocol was safe, enjoyable, and highly effective in increasing muscular strength.
Jeanne F. Nichols, Karen P. Nelson, and Katrina K. Peterson are with the Department of Physical Education, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-0171 David J. Sartoris is with the Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, Medical Center, 92116.