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Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Aug;60(2):167-75.

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

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  • 1US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA.


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.

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