Strength Training Increases Resting Metabolic Rate and Norepinephrine Levels in Healthy 50 to 65 Year Old Men

By Ty Sevin, Aug 31, 2021

< Back to Benefits of Strength Training on Hormonal Responses in Older Adults

R. Pratley, B. Nicklas, M. Rubin,). Miller, A. Smith, M. Smith, B. Hurley, and A. Goldberg, Division of Gerontology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore 21201; and Departments of Kinesiology and Human Nutrition and Food Systems, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742.


The researches hypothesized that a strength training program capable of increasing fat free mass would also increase the resting metabolic rate in older individuals. To test this theory, resting metabolic rate, body composition and blood concentrations of certain hormones known to affect resting metabolic rate were measured before and after a 16 week heavy strength training program in 13 healthy men 50-65 years of age.


Average strength levels increased 40% with training, body weight did not change, body fat decreased, and fat free mass increased. Resting metabolic rate also increased 7.7% with strength training. Levels of norepinephrine in the arteries increased 36% with strength training, but there were no changes in fasting glucose, insulin, or thyroid hormone levels.


These results indicate that heavy strength training increases resting metabolic rate in healthy older men, perhaps by increasing fat free mass and sympathetic nervous system activity. Increasing the resting metabolic rate through strength training can help individuals manage their body weight, and prevent obesity along with its many health consequences.

Keiser Equipment Used

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

Published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1995, American College of Sports Medicine

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