Increased energy requirements and changes in body composition with resistance training in older adults

Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Aug;60(2):167-75. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/60.2.167.


Body composition and the components of energy metabolism were examined in 12 men and women, aged 56-80 y, before and after 12 wk of resistance training. Subjects were randomly assigned to groups that consumed diets that providing either 0.8 or 1.6 g and adequate total energy to maintain baseline body weight. Fat mass decreased 1.8 +/- 0.4 kg (P < 0.001) and fat-free mass (FFM) increased 1.4 +/- 0.4 kg (P < 0.01) in these weight-stable subjects. The increase in FFM was associated with a 1.6 +/- 0.4 kg increase in total body water (P < 0.01) but no significant change in either protein plus mineral mass or body cell mass. With resistance training, the mean energy intake required for body weight maintenance increased by approximately 15%. Increased energy expenditure included increased resting metabolic rate (P < 0.02) and the energy cost of resistance exercise. Dietary protein intake did not influence these results. Resistance training is an effective way to increase energy requirements, decrease body-fat mass, and maintain metabolically active tissue mass in healthy older people and may be useful as an adjunct to weight-control programs for older adults.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Composition*
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Hormones