Resistance training and intra-abdominal adipose tissue in older men and women

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Jun;34(6):1023-8. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200206000-00019.


Purpose: Little is known concerning the effects of resistance-exercise training (RT) on older adult's intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT). The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of RT on fat distribution in 12 women and 14 men, aged 61-77 yr.

Methods: Computed tomography IAAT and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), densitometry-determined body composition, one-repetition maximum (1-RM), and isometric strength were measured before and after 25 wk of RT. Training consisted of two sets of 10 repetitions at 65-80% of 1-RM, three times each week.

Results: There were similar increases in strength for both the men and women. Women improved 22% and 38% in the isometric strength test and 1-RM test, respectively, whereas the men improved 21% and 36%, respectively. A significant increase in fat-free mass (FFM) was found for both men and women. However, there was a significant gender x time interaction, which indicated that men increased FFM more than women (2.8 kg vs 1.0 kg, respectively). Similar decreases in fat mass (FM) were found for the men (1.8 kg) and women (1.7 kg). However, women lost a significant amount of IAAT (131 to 116 cm2), whereas the men did not (143 to 152 cm2). Similarly, women also lost a significant amount of SAT (254 to 239 cm2), but men did not (165 to 165 cm2).

Conclusion: Despite similar decreases in FM after a 25-wk RT program, older women lost significant amounts of IAAT and SAT, whereas the older men did not.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Aged
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Sex Factors
  • Weight Lifting / physiology