1-Year of Strength Training and Weight Loss in Older Women: Effects on Body Composition

By Ty Sevin, Aug 30, 2021

< Back to Benefits of Strength Training on Body Composition in Older Adults

M. Nelson, S. Bortz*, B. Crawford*, M. Fiatarone*, C. Economos, W. Evans, FACSM, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center, Tufts University, Boston, MA


The effects of a 1 year progressive strength training program on body composition were examined in 10 obese women aged 50-70 years. Randomly, 6 women were assigned to a strength training group and 4 women were assigned to a sedentary group. In addition, all 10 women underwent a behavior modification weight loss program. Two times per week, the strength training group performed 3 sets of 8 repetitions on 5 different Keiser machines. They trained at 80% of their one repetition maximum.


There were no differences between the two groups in the amount of body weight or fat-free body mass (measured by HYDRO) lost over the year. Thigh muscle area increased in the strength training group and decreased in the sedentary group.


These data indicate that when calories are restricted enough to result in weight loss, significantly more muscle mass is preserved in a strength training program combined with a weight loss program, when compared to a weight loss program alone. Maintaining muscle mass is very important in helping to prevent physical frailty and all of its complications. Therefore, preserving muscle mass should be of considerable concern to individuals who are undergoing a weight loss program.

Keiser Equipment Used

Leg press, leg extension, lat pull-down, lower back, and abdominal machines.

Published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Copyright 1994 by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Abstracts #6 under Bone Density, #22 under Hormonal Responses, and #38 under “Other” also refer to body composition.

About the author

Ty Sevin

Director of Human Performance, Education and Research

Articles by Ty Sevin >

With over 25 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and Olympic levels, Ty Sevin is one of the most influential track and field coaches in the country. Ty has worked for the United States Olympic Committee, serving as the Director of the Track and Field Residency Program at the USOC Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. He has also served as an assistant coach for Team USA on three separate occasions, for both the men’s and women’s teams. Ty himself was a four-time U.S. Olympics Trials qualifier in javelin. Ty most recently spent four years as the Associate Head Coach at the University of Texas at Austin for both the men’s and women’s track and field teams. Prior to that, he led the men’s and women’s track and cross-country teams at the University of New Orleans and McNeese State.

Currently, Ty applies his vast industry experience to the role of Director of Human Performance, Research and Education for Keiser Corporation, where he consults with college and professional sports teams regarding the utilization of Keiser strength equipment. He is also responsible for creating educational curriculum relating to human performance and overseeing Keiser research projects