Resistive Training Lowers Insulin Levels And Increases Insulin Sensitivity In Older Men

By Ty Sevin, Aug 31, 2021

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

J.P. Miller, M.A. Rubin, A.J. Smith, M.M. Smith, B.F. Hurley, A.P. Goldberg and R.E. Pratley, University of Maryland and Baltimore VAMC, College Park and Baltimore, Maryland 21218.


This study tests whether strength training lowers insulin levels in older individuals by increasing insulin sensitivity (more efficient distribution and usage) and whether these changes are due to changes in body composition. Eleven healthy sedentary men 50-75 years whose diet and weight had been stabilized for one month, were measured for glucose and insulin responses and insulin sensitivity. Subjects trained 3 times per week for 16 weeks, exercising all major muscle groups on Keiser K-300 machines.


Strength increased 38% with no change in weight or measures of aerobic capacity. Fat free mass increased and body fat decreased. Strength training did not change fasting insulin levels but improved the efficiency of insulin usage. There was no change in glucose tolerance. Insulin sensitivity increased 23% during both low and high insulin infusions. This increase in insulin sensitivity was independent of changes in fat free mass or percent body fat.


Strength training lowers insulin responses to glucose in older men by increasing insulin sensitivity (i.e. efficiency of use). The mechanism by which strength training improves insulin sensitivity remains to be determined but, in this study, does not seem to be related to body composition. Increased insulin sensitivity has significant implications for prevention and treatment 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 Annual Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, Washington, D.C., 1992. This abstract won 1st place as the most outstanding research project at this conference.

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