Resistive Training Decreases Insulin Resistance In Healthy Older Men

By Ty Sevin, Aug 31, 2021

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

R. Pratley, J. Miller, M. Smith, B. Hurley, and A. Goldberg. University of Maryland and Baltimore VAMC, College Park and Baltimore, Maryland.


This study tests the hypothesis that strength training improves oral glucose tolerance by decreasing insulin resistance (inefficient usage) in older subjects. Nine healthy sedentary men aged ** years, with normal blood pressure and oral glucose tolerance, were weight stabilized for one month prior to measurement of aerobic capacity and body composition. They were placed on a diet with a pre-set number of calories prior to a 2 step glucose test. Subjects completed a 12 week strength training program involving all major muscle groups worked at 80-90% of their 3 repetition maximum.


There were no changes in weight or maximum aerobic capacity but strength increased by 38%. Lean body mass increased and body fat decreased. Metabolic testing was repeated 24 hours after the last exercise session. Fasting blood glucose levels did not change but oral glucose tolerance improved after strength training. Insulin sensitivity, increased 33°/o during both low and high doses of the 2 step glucose test.


Improvements in insulin-sensitivity were not related to changes in aerobic capacity, body composition or strength. These results suggest that strength training may reduce the insulin resistance associated with aging, perhaps by altering glucose uptake from muscle tissue. Improved efficiency of insulin usage has significant implications for the prevention and management of diabetes.

Keiser Equipment Used

Leg press, chest press, leg curl, leg extension, lat pull down, shoulder press, upper back, hip abductor, triceps and abdominal machines.

Presented at the Federation for Clinical Research Symposium. Published in Clinical Research, vol.24,no.2: 196A, 1992.

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