Strength Training Accelerates Gastrointestinal Transit in Middle-aged and Older Men

By Ty Sevin, Sep 01, 2021

< Back to A Variety of Research on the Benefits of Strength Training in Older Adults

K.H. Koffter, A Menkes, R.A.F. Redmond, W.A. Whitehead, R.E. Pratley and B.F. Hurley. Exercise Science Laboratory, Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742.


Seven healthy, untrained men aged 52-69 years were studied to determine the effects of a 13-week total body strength training program on gastrointestinal transit time (GITT). Whole bowel transit time and mouth-to-cecum transit time were recorded before and after the training program. Prior to training, subjects recorded their dietary intake for 5 days and then participated in the GITT tests. After the 13-week training program, subjects repeated the same previously recorded diet for 5 days before repeating the GITT tests.


No significant changes in weight or aerobic capacity were observed as a result of training. There was a small but significant decrease in body fat, and the training resulted in an increase in upper body strength of ≈41% and lower body strength of ≈45%. In addition, an increase of ≈38% was observed in the peak torque of the knee extensors. The training program significantly accelerated whole bowel transit time (41+/- 11 hours, verses 20+/-7 hours). There was no significant change in mouth-cecum transit time.


A strength training program can accelerate whole bowel transit time in previously sedentary middle-aged and older men with the primary effect appearing to be in the large intestines. It is widely acknowledged that accelerated whole bowel transit time has important implications for colon cancer prevention. For example increasing fiber in the diet as a way to accelerate transit time is well documented as factor in colon cancer prevention. Since a large percentage of colon cancers occur in the descending portion of the large intestine the accelerated transit time through the large intestine demonstrated by this research is very positive.

Published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol.24, no.2:415-419,1992.

Keiser Equipment Used

Shoulder press, upper back, chest press, lat pulldown, tricep pushdown, lower back, abdominal, Leg Press, Leg Extension, Leg Curl, hip adductor, hip abductor

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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