Strength Training In Postmenopausal Women: Effects On Bone And Body Composition

By Ty Sevin, Aug 30, 2021

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

M.E. Nelson, S.S. Bortz*, B. Crawford*, C. Economos, M.A. Fiatarone, I. Trice and W.J. Evans, FACSM, Human Physiology Laboratory, USDA, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA.


The effects of a supervised 1-year high intensity strength training program on bone and body composition were examined in 10 healthy postmenopausal women, aged 50-70 years. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a sedentary control group (no strength training) or a high intensity strength training program. Eight repetitions of each of the following exercises; leg press, leg extension, lat pull down, back extension and abdominal flexion on Keiser machines was identified as a set. Two days per week, this set was repeated 3 times with a weight equal to 80% of 1 repetition maximum (the maximum amount of weight an individual can lift one time).


Bone mineral density of the lumbar spine increased by ≈ 6.3% in the 6 exercising women and decreased by ≈ 3-7% in the 4 sedentary controls. Bone measurements (total bone, spine, and hip) did not change over the year and there were no differences between groups. Lean body mass measured by underwater weighing, increased in the exercising women and was unchanged in the sedentary controls. Body weight and fat mass did not change in either group over the year.


The results of this study indicate that high intensity strength training increased bone density of the lumbar spine and lean body mass in post-menopausal women. This has direct implications for prevention of osteoporosis and physical frailty. It is important to note that the 6.3% increase in bone density becomes even more significant when compared to the 3.7% loss of bone mineral density experienced by the sedentary group.

Keiser Equipment Used

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

Presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the A.C.S.M., 1993- Published in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, vol. 25 (supplement), pg. S-102, May, 1993.

Link to Original Research

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