European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 99, Issue 5, pp 549–555 | Cite as

Favorable effects of non-instrumental resistance training on fat distribution and metabolic profiles in healthy elderly people

  • Shigeki TsuzukuEmail author
  • Taeko Kajioka
  • Hidetoshi Endo
  • Robert D. Abbott
  • J. David Curb
  • Katsuhiko Yano
Original Article


This study examined the effect of a 12-week non-instrumental resistance training program using body weight as a load (RT-BW) on body composition, fat distribution and metabolic profiles in elderly males and females. Healthy, non-diabetic, elderly volunteers (22 males and 30 females) aged 65–82 years were non-randomly divided into RT-BW (12 males and 20 females) and control (10 males and 10 females) groups. The RT-BW subjects were trained three times per week for 12 weeks according to a specified protocol involving a combination of upper and lower body weight and rubber tubing exercises. We evaluated body composition and fat distribution using anthropometry, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and ultrasonography, and measured serum lipid levels and HbA1c at baseline and after 12 weeks of training. Changes over 12 weeks were significantly greater in the RT-BW group compared with the control group, with a decrease in waist circumference, pre-peritoneal (visceral) fat thickness and thigh fat thickness, and an increase in thigh muscle thickness. On the other hand, the changes in body weight, fat mass and fat free mass were no different between the groups. Further, there were significantly greater changes of metabolic profiles in the RT-BW group with an increase in HDL cholesterol and a decrease in triglyceride and HbA1c. There was a significant between-group difference in diastolic blood pressure. Relatively short-term, non-instrumental resistance training using body weight as a load was effective in improving fat distribution and metabolic profiles in healthy elderly people without weight loss.


Resistance training Visceral fat Triglyceride HDL cholesterol HbA1c 



The authors wish to thank Dr. Kiyoshi Maeda, Mr.Takuya Ozeki, Mrs. Akemi Ozeki and Mrs. Hisako Sato, the General Health Sciences Center Aichi Health Village, for their help with testing and training the subjects. This work was supported by a grant from the Foundation of Social Development for Senior Citizens in Japan which is a non-profit organization related to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Additional support was provided by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. None of the authors has any financial support for research, consultantships and speakers forum, as well as having any company holdings (e.g., stocks) or patents related to this manuscript. The sponsor did not take part in the study design, methods, subject recruitment, data collections, analysis and preparation.

Author contributions: study concept and design, acquisition of subjects and data, analysis and interpretation of data, and preparation of manuscript (Dr. Tsuzuku, Dr. Kajioka and Dr. Endo); analysis and interpretation of data, and preparation of manuscript (Dr. Abbott); and preparation of manuscript (Dr. Curb and Dr. Yano).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shigeki Tsuzuku
    • 1
    Email author
  • Taeko Kajioka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hidetoshi Endo
    • 3
  • Robert D. Abbott
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • J. David Curb
    • 6
    • 7
  • Katsuhiko Yano
    • 7
  1. 1.Body Design Medical Institute JapanOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Health Science, Faculty of Psychological and Physical SciencesAichi Gakuin UniversityAichiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Comprehensive Geriatric MedicineNational Hospital for Geriatric MedicineAichiJapan
  4. 4.Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of MedicineUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Health ScienceShiga University of Medical ScienceShigaJapan
  6. 6.Pacific Health Research InstituteHonoluluUSA
  7. 7.Honolulu Heart ProgramKuakini Medical CenterHonoluluUSA

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