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Jeanne F. Nichols, Karen P. Nelson, Katrina K. Peterson and David J. Sartoris

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.