Maximal strength training improves bone mineral density and neuromuscular performance in young adult women

J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Oct;28(10):2935-45. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000493.


-Exercise guidelines highlight maximizing bone mass early in life as a strategy to prevent osteoporosis. Which intervention is most effective for this purpose remains unclear. This study investigated the musculoskeletal effects of high acceleration, maximal strength training (MST), in young adult women. Thirty healthy women (22 ± 2 years) were randomly assigned to a training group (TG) and a control group (CG). The TG completed 12 weeks of squat MST, executed at 85-90% of maximal strength 1 repetition maximum (1RM), emphasizing progressive loading and high acceleration in the concentric phase. The CG was encouraged to follow the American College of Sports Medicine's exercise guidelines for skeletal health. Measurements included bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, dynamic and isometric rate of force development (RFD), and squat 1RM. Serum levels of type 1 collagen amino-terminal propeptide (P1NP), type 1 collagen C breakdown products (CTX), and sclerostin were analyzed by immunoassays. In the TG, lumbar spine and total hip BMD increased by 2.2 and 1.0%, whereas serum P1NP increased by 26.2%. Dynamic RFD and 1RM improved by 81.7 and 97.7%, and isometric RFD improved by 38% at 100 milliseconds. These improvements were significantly greater than those observed in the CG. Within the CG, dynamic RFD and 1RM increased by 27.2 and 12.9% while no other significant changes occurred. These findings suggest that squat MST may serve as a simple, time-efficient strategy to optimize peak bone mass in early adulthood.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Body Composition
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / blood
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Physical Conditioning, Human / methods
  • Physical Conditioning, Human / physiology*
  • Procollagen / blood
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Young Adult


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Collagen Type I
  • Genetic Markers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Procollagen
  • SOST protein, human
  • procollagen Type I N-terminal peptide