Background: High load, low repetition resistance training increases BMD in untrained adults; however, many older and untrained adults cannot maintain this type of strenuous program. Our goal was to evaluate whether a low load, high repetition resistance training program would increase BMD in untrained adults.
Methods: Twenty sedentary, but otherwise healthy, adults (6 men and 14 women, age 28-63 yrs) completed a 27-week group exercise program. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two strength groups: one group completed full body, low load, high repetition weight training classes (S-WEIGHT), while the other group completed core focused fusion classes (S-CORE). Both groups also completed indoor cycling classes for cardiovascular conditioning. After a 3-week familiarization period, all participants completed a 12-week block of 5 fitness classes per week (3 cycling + 2 strength) and concluded with another 12-week block of 6 classes per week (3 cycling + 3 strength). We completed iDXA scans at baseline (week 3) and final (week 28).
Results: Compared to baseline, BMD significantly increased for S-WEIGHT in the arms (+4%, P<0.001), legs (+8%, P<0.01), pelvis (+6%, P<0.01) and lumbar spine (+4%, P<0.05), whereas BMD did not significantly change for S-CORE at any site.
Conclusions: These results suggest that a low load, high repetition resistance training program may be an effective method to improve bone mass in adults.