Osteoporosis International

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 1529–1536 | Cite as

Effects of a 1-year randomized controlled trial of resistance training on lower limb bone and muscle structure and function in older men

  • J. Whiteford
  • T. R. Ackland
  • S. S. Dhaliwal
  • A. P. James
  • J. J. Woodhouse
  • R. Price
  • R. L. Prince
  • D. A. Kerr
Original Article



A 1-year randomized controlled trial of resistance training compared with a control group was undertaken in 143 men aged 55–80 years. Although hip bone mineral density, lean body mass, and function increased in both groups, lean body mass and function but not bone density increased more in the resistance group.


Previous studies have demonstrated a positive effect of resistance training on bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women, but the effect in men is unclear. The aim was to examine the effect of a 1-year resistance training program on bone and lean body mass in 143 men aged 55–80 years, randomized to either resistance training or active control.


Resistance exercises were selected to provide loading at the hips. Measurements were taken at 0, 6, and 12 months for BMD (whole body, hip, and spine), lean body mass, strength, and functional fitness.


The intervention showed a significant increase in total hip BMD for both groups at 12 months (active control, 1,014–1,050 mg/cm2; resistance, 1,045–1,054 mg/cm2, p < 0.05) with no increased effect of resistance training compared to active control. However, compared to the active control group, the resistance group increased their lean body mass (active control, 0.1 ± 2.1%; resistance, 1.5 ± 2.7%, p < 0.05), fitness (active control, 4.6 ± 11.1%; resistance, 13.0 ± 13.4%, p < 0.05), and lower limb muscle strength (active control, 14.3 ± 16.8%; resistance, 39.4 ± 30.87%, p < 0.05).


In contrast to previous findings in older women, in older men, a resistance training program does not increase hip bone mass more than walking 30 min three times a week.


Bone density Exercise Randomized Resistance training Strength 


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Whiteford
    • 1
  • T. R. Ackland
    • 2
  • S. S. Dhaliwal
    • 1
  • A. P. James
    • 1
  • J. J. Woodhouse
    • 2
  • R. Price
    • 3
  • R. L. Prince
    • 4
    • 5
  • D. A. Kerr
    • 1
  1. 1.Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, School of Public HealthCurtin University of TechnologyBentleyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Sport Science, Exercise and HealthThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of SurgeryThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  4. 4.School of Medicine and PharmacologyThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Endocrinology and DiabetesSir Charles Gairdner HospitalPerthAustralia

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