Bone mineral content of junior competitive weightlifters

Int J Sports Med. 1990 Jun;11(3):244-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1024800.


It is suggested that practicing various sports can increase the bone mineral content (BMC). However, we were unable to find any reports indicating BMC changes in weightlifting, a sport which involves both extremities and spine and increases muscle mass as well. Therefore, we thought that it might be of interest to measure BMC in junior competitive weightlifters. On the occasion of a recent Junior World Championship we measured, by single photon absorptiometry, BMC in 59 young competitive male athletes (aged 15 to 20 years) from 14 countries. Several variables were taken into account for each subject, including race, record, age, height and weight. Multiple regression analysis was performed in order to assess the contribution of the above mentioned variables to the variability of both distal and proximal BMC. Finally, athletes' BMCs were compared to matched sex and age normals. Our results suggest that junior competitive weightlifters have an increased BMC, well above the age-matched controls' mean. It seems that the vigorous exercise of weightlifters tends to fade out any race or age-related BMC differences. Finally, weightlifters' BMC seems to be highly correlated with body weight and record.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Reference Standards
  • Weight Lifting*


  • Minerals