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Aging generally results in muscle and bone atrophy, with accelerated loss in the first few years after menopause contributing to decline in strength, balance, and mobility. This investigation compared the effects of 1 of year periodized high-intensity strength training on a group of less-than-5-years (LF) postmenopausal women (n = 10, mean age 51 years) with its effects on a more-than-10-years (MT) postmenopausal group (n = 11, mean age 60 years). Mean lean body mass, strength, and balance increased over the intervention period for both groups, with no significant intergroup differences. Mean total fat mass significantly decreased for both groups, with no significant difference between groups. Total and regional bone density and mineral content did not significantly change in either group. These results indicate that even during the accelerated muscle-loss period after menopause, women can gain muscle and strength with resistance training to a similar extent as older women.
The authors are with the School of Medical Sciences, Division of Biosciences, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Bundoora 3083, Victoria, Australia.