Reversing sarcopenia: how weight training can build strength and vitality

Geriatrics. 1996 May;51(5):46-7, 51-3; quiz 54.


Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass with advancing age, results in lower basal metabolic rate, weakness, reduced activity levels, decreased bone density, and low calorie needs. The related increase in body fatness is linked to hypertension and abnormal glucose tolerance. Many consequences of sarcopenia are preventable or even reversible. Progressive resistance exercises can produce substantial increases in strength and muscle size, even in the oldest old. For many older patients, exercise represents the safest, least expensive means to lose body fat, decrease blood pressure, improving glucose tolerance, and maintain long-term independence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Body Composition
  • Bone Density
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Muscular Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / prevention & control*
  • Weight Lifting*
  • Weight Loss