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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 May;63(5):678-86.

Analysis of body-composition techniques and models for detecting change in soft tissue with strength training.

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Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


The purpose of this study was to compare the ability of various body-composition assessment techniques to detect changes in soft tissue in older, weight-stable women (50-70 y of age) completing a 1-y randomized, controlled trial of progressive resistance training. The intervention group (n = 20) performed high-intensity strength-training 2 d/wk with five different exercises; the control group (n = 19) was untreated. Hydrostatic weighing, 24-h urinary creatinine, computed tomography of thigh sections, total body potassium, and tritium dilution techniques were used to measure increases in total fat-free mass (FFM) and the muscle and water components of FFM. A decrease in fat mass (by hydrostatic weighing) was seen in the strength-trained women compared with the control subjects (P - 0.01-0.0001). Anthropometry, bioelectric impedance, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and total body nitrogen and carbon did not measure any significant change in soft tissue. The choice of a body-composition technique is important when designing a study expected to affect soft tissue, because not all techniques available are precise enough to detect small changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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