Category Archives: Strength Training

Video: Dr. Hofflich “Osteoporosis Update 2013” – Stein Institute for Research on Aging

Here is a nice talk by Dr. Heather Hofflich from May 15, 2013. She’s an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSD. She gives an overview of osteoporosis and discusses the causes and therapies used to treat it. She also takes a look at recent controversies in treatment plans and vitamin usage.

One thing that bothers me about her talk is that she claims Teriparatide is the only thing in the world that builds bone by increasing osteoblast activity. I’ve posted many studies that found increases in osteoblasts from a variety of things. She also didn’t mention any other potentially helpful dietary supplements besides Calcium and Vitamin D. Like most MDs, she is probably unaware of anything that is not FDA approved.

Vitamins C + E, or Exercise, Prevent Bone Loss in Women


Effect of antioxidants combined to resistance training on BMD in elderly women: a pilot study.

We determined the effect of antioxidants and resistance training on bone mineral density of postmenopausal women. After 6 months, we observed a significant decrease in the lumbar spine BMD of the placebo group while other groups remained stable. Antioxidants may offer protection against bone loss such as resistance training.
The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the effects of antioxidant supplements combined to resistance training on bone mineral density (BMD) in healthy elderly women.
Thirty-four postmenopausal women (66.1 +/- 3.3 years) were randomized in four groups (placebo, n = 7; antioxidants, n = 8; exercise and placebo, n = 11; and exercise and antioxidants, n = 8). The 6-month intervention consisted in antioxidant supplements (600 mg vitamin E and 1,000 mg vitamin C daily) or resistance exercise (3x/week). Femoral neck and lumbar spine BMD (DXA) and dietary intakes (3-day food record) were measured before and after the intervention. A repeated measure ANOVA and non-parametric Mann-Whitney U tests were used.
We observed a significant decrease in the placebo group for lumbar spine BMD (pre, 1.01 +/- 0.17 g/cm(2); post, 1.00 +/- 0.16 g/cm(2); P < 0.05 respectively) while it remained stable in all other groups. No changes were observed for femoral neck BMD.
Antioxidant vitamins may offer some protection against bone loss in the same extent as resistance exercise although combining both does not seem to produce additional effects. Our results suggest to further investigate the impact of antioxidant supplements on the prevention of osteoporosis.

Chuin A, Labonté M, Tessier D, Khalil A…
Osteoporos Int Jul 2009
PMID: 19020919

Review: Milk + Resistance Training


Impact of milk consumption and resistance training on body composition of female athletes.

Resistance exercise (RE) preceding the provision of high-quality dairy protein supports muscle anabolism. Milk contains bioactive components, including two high-quality protein fractions, calcium and vitamin D, each of which has been shown modulate body composition (increasing lean mass and decreasing fat mass) under energy balance and hypoenergetic conditions. These dairy nutrients are also essential for skeletal health. Acutely, no study of RE and milk/whey consumption has been undertaken exclusively in female athletes, let alone women, nevertheless, studies with both men and women show increased lean mass accretion following milk/whey compared to soy/placebo. Currently, no longer-term RE studies with milk supplementation have been done in female athletes. However, trials in young recreationally active women demonstrated augmented increases in lean mass and decreases in fat mass with RE and milk or whey protein consumption. The amount of protein consumed post-exercise is also important; two trials using yogurt (5 g protein/6 oz) failed to demonstrate a positive change in body composition compared to placebo. For bone health, RE plus dairy improved bone mineral density at clinically important sites and reduced bone resorption. With energy restriction, in one study, higher dairy plus higher protein resulted in greater fat loss, lean mass gain and improved bone health in overweight women. In another study, milk and calcium supplementation showed no greater benefit. Neither trial exclusively utilized RE. Overall, RE and milk/dairy consumption positively impact body composition in women by promoting losses in fat, gains or maintenance of lean mass and preservation of bone. Future studies in female athletes and under energy restriction with RE alone are warranted.

Josse AR, Phillips SM
Med Sport Sci 2012
PMID: 23075559

Resistance Exercise Prevents Bone Loss During Spaceflights


Benefits for bone from resistance exercise and nutrition in long-duration spaceflight: Evidence from biochemistry and densitometry.

Exercise has shown little success in mitigating bone loss from long-duration spaceflight. The first crews of the International Space Station (ISS) used the “interim resistive exercise device” (iRED), which allowed loads of up to 297 lb(f) (or 1337 N) but provided little protection of bone or no greater protection than aerobic exercise. In 2008, the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED), which allowed absolute loads of up to 600 lb(f) (1675 N), was launched to the ISS. We report dietary intake, bone densitometry, and biochemical markers in 13 crewmembers on ISS missions from 2006 to 2009. Of these 13, 8 had access to the iRED and 5 had access to the ARED. In both groups, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase tended to increase during flight toward the end of the mission (p = 0.06) and increased 30 days after landing (p < 0.001). Most markers of bone resorption were also increased in both groups during flight and 30 days after landing (p < 0.05). Bone densitometry revealed significant interactions (time and exercise device) for pelvis bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (p < 0.01), hip femoral neck BMD (p < 0.05), trochanter BMD (p < 0.05), and total hip BMD (p < 0.05). These variables were unchanged from preflight only for ARED crewmembers, who also returned from flight with higher percent lean mass and lower percent fat mass. Body mass was unchanged after flight in both groups. All crewmembers had nominal vitamin D status (75 ± 17 nmol/L) before and during flight. These data document that resistance exercise, coupled with adequate energy intake (shown by maintenance of body mass determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry [DXA]) and vitamin D, can maintain bone in most regions during 4- to 6-month missions in microgravity. This is the first evidence that improving nutrition and resistance exercise during spaceflight can attenuate the expected BMD deficits previously observed after prolonged missions.

Smith SM, Heer MA, Shackelford LC, Sibonga JD…
J. Bone Miner. Res. Sep 2012
PMID: 22549960

A Positive Study on Vibration With or Without Exercise


Whole-body vibration effects on bone mineral density in women with or without resistance training.

Whole-body vibration exposure may translate into improved bone mass in young adult women. The primary focus of this study was to examine the effects of graded whole-body vibration or vibration exposure plus resistance training on bone mineral density (BMD), hematological measures for bone remodeling, and exercise metabolism in young women.
There were 51 healthy active women [mean (SD) age, 21.02 (3.39) yr; height, 165.66 (6.73) cm; body mass 66.54 (13.39) kg] who participated in the intervention. Subjects were randomly assigned to whole-body vibration (WBV), whole-body vibration plus resistance training (WBV+RT), or control (CONT) groups for 16 wk.
A repeated-measure ANOVA found no significant (P < 0.05) group differences in BMD at the completion of 16 wk. A significant within group change was apparent for the WBV (2.7% femoral neck) and WBV+RT (femoral neck 1.9%; vertebra 0.98%). WBV and WBV+RT experienced a significant (P < 0.05) 60% and 58% increase in adiponectin, 48% and 30% in transforming growth factor-beta1, and 17% and 34% in nitric oxide with an accompanying 50% and 36% decrease in osteopontin, 19% and 34% in interleukin-1beta, and 38% and 39% in tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
The results indicate graded whole-body vibration exposure may be effective in improving BMD by increasing bone deposition while also decreasing bone resorption. Whole-body vibration may also provide an efficient stratagem for young women to achieve peak bone mass and help stave off osteoporosis later in life and provide a novel form of physical training.

Humphries B, Fenning A, Dugan E, Guinane J…
Aviat Space Environ Med Dec 2009
PMID: 20027849

Similar Results From Minimal vs. High Resistance Exercise in Rats


Increased training loads do not magnify cancellous bone gains with rodent jump resistance exercise.

This study sought to elucidate the effects of a low- and high-load jump resistance exercise (RE) training protocol on cancellous bone of the proximal tibia metaphysis (PTM) and femoral neck (FN). Sprague-Dawley rats (male, 6 mo old) were randomly assigned to high-load RE (HRE; n = 16), low-load RE (LRE; n = 15), or sedentary cage control (CC; n = 11) groups. Animals in the HRE and LRE groups performed 15 sessions of jump RE during 5 wk of training. PTM cancellous volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), assessed by in vivo peripheral quantitative computed tomography scans, significantly increased in both exercise groups (+9%; P < 0.001), resulting in part from 130% (HRE; P = 0.003) and 213% (LRE; P < 0.0001) greater bone formation (measured by standard histomorphometry) vs. CC. Additionally, mineralizing surface (%MS/BS) and mineral apposition rate were higher (50-90%) in HRE and LRE animals compared with controls. PTM bone microarchitecture was enhanced with LRE, resulting in greater trabecular thickness (P = 0.03) and bone volume fraction (BV/TV; P = 0.04) vs. CC. Resorption surface was reduced by nearly 50% in both exercise paradigms. Increased PTM bone mass in the LRE group translated into a 161% greater elastic modulus (P = 0.04) vs. CC. LRE and HRE increased FN vBMD (10%; P < 0.0001) and bone mineral content (∼ 20%; P < 0.0001) and resulted in significantly greater FN strength vs. CC. For the vast majority of variables, there was no difference in the cancellous bone response between the two exercise groups, although LRE resulted in significantly greater body mass accrual and bone formation response. These results suggest that jumping at minimal resistance provides a similar anabolic stimulus to cancellous bone as jumping at loads exceeding body mass.

Swift JM, Gasier HG, Swift SN, Wiggs MP…
J. Appl. Physiol. Dec 2010
PMID: 20930128 | Free Full Text

Aerobic and Resistance Exercise May Increase Bone Formation in Young Women


Influence of exercise mode and osteogenic index on bone biomarker responses during short-term physical training.

Prescribing exercise based on intensity, frequency, and duration of loading may maximize osteogenic responses in bone, but a model of the osteogenic potential of exercise has not been established in humans. In rodents, an osteogenic index (OI) has been used to predict the osteogenic potential of exercise. The current study sought to determine whether aerobic, resistance, or combined aerobic and resistance exercise programs conducted over eight weeks and compared to a control group could produce changes in biochemical markers of bone turnover indicative of bone formation. We further sought to determine whether an OI could be calculated for each of these programs that would reflect observed biochemical changes. We collected serum biomarkers [bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), osteocalcin, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), C-terminal telopeptide fragment of type I collagen (CTx), deoxypyridinoline (DPD), 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D), and parathyroid hormone (PTH)] in 56 women (20.3+/-1.8 years) before, during and after eight weeks of training. We also measured bone mineral density (BMD) at regional areas of interest using DXA and pQCT. Biomarkers of bone formation (BAP and osteocalcin) increased in the Resistance and Combined groups (p<0.05), while biomarkers of bone resorption (TRAP and DPD) decreased and increased, respectively, after training (p<0.05) in all groups. Small changes in volumetric and areal BMD (p<0.05) were observed in the distal tibia in the Aerobic and Combined groups, respectively. Mean weekly OIs were 16.0+/-1.9, 20.6+/-2.2, and 36.9+/-5.2 for the Resistance, Aerobic, and Combined groups, respectively. The calculated osteogenic potential of our programs did not correlate with the observed changes in biomarkers of bone turnover. The results of the present study demonstrate that participation in an eight week physical training program that incorporates a resistance component by previously inactive young women results in alterations in biomarkers of bone remodeling indicative of increased formation without substantial alterations in markers of resorption.

Lester ME, Urso ML, Evans RK, Pierce JR…
Bone Oct 2009
PMID: 19520194

45 Minutes of Resistance Exercise Reduces Resorption for 8 Hours


Acute effects of moderate intensity resistance exercise on bone cell activity.

Resistance exercise has positive effects on bone mass, but little is known about the mechanisms by which this occurs. The purpose of this study was to determine if a single bout of moderate intensity resistance exercise alters biochemical markers of bone cell activity. Indices of bone turnover were measured in nine healthy, untrained men (21.9 +/- 1.2 yrs old), before and following a single 45 minute session of resistance exercise, and during a control trial. A cross-over design was used so that all participants performed both trials in random order. Blood samples were collected immediately before, immediately after, and at 1, 8, 24, and 48 hours post exercise and analyzed for bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), type I collagen propeptide (PICP), and type I collagen N-telopeptide (sNTX). Urine from the second morning void was collected over four days (day before, day of, and two days following exercise) and analyzed for type I collagen N-telopeptide (uNTX). Exercise resulted in a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the ratio of biochemical markers of bone formation to bone resorption eight hours post exercise, largely due to a decrease in sNTX. Markers return to baseline within 24 hrs. These data suggest that moderate intensity resistance training acutely reduces bone resorption, leading to a favorable change in overall bone turnover, for at least 8 hours post exercise in untrained young men. Further work is needed to determine if long-term benefits to bone strength follow with persistent training.

Whipple TJ, Le BH, Demers LM, Chinchilli VM…
Int J Sports Med Oct 2004
PMID: 15459829

No Bone Benefit in Young Healthy Women from 3 Months Resistance Training or Protein


Effects of resistance training and protein supplementation on bone turnover in young adult women.

The strength of aging bone depends on the balance between the resorption and formation phases of the remodeling process. The purpose of this study was to examine the interaction of two factors with the potential to exert opposing influences on bone turnover, resistance exercise training and high dietary protein intake. It was hypothesized that resistance training by young, healthy, untrained women with protein intakes near recommended levels (0.8 would promote bone formation and/or inhibit bone resorption, and that subsequent supplementation to provide 2.4 g would reverse these effects.
Bone formation was assessed with serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) and osteocalcin (OC), and bone resorption with urinary calcium and deoxypyridinoline (DPD). Biochemical, strength, anthropometric, dietary, and physical activity data were obtained from 24 healthy, untrained, eumenorrheic women (18-29 y) at baseline, after eight weeks of resistance training (3 d.wk(-1), approximately 1 hr.d(-1); 3 sets, 6-10 repetitions, 13 exercises, 75-85% maximum voluntary contraction), and after 12 weeks of resistance training and 10 days of protein/placebo supplementation. Subjects were randomized (double-blind) to either a high protein (HP) or training control (TC) group and, during the final 10 days, consumed either enough purified whey protein to bring daily protein intake to 2.4, or an equivalent dose of isoenergetic, carbohydrate placebo.
Strength, lean tissue mass, and DPD increased significantly in both groups over time, while percent body fat and BAP decreased (repeated measures ANOVA, p < or = 0.05, Bonferroni correction). No significant changes were observed for serum OC or urinary calcium, and no significant group (TC, HP) x time (baseline, week 8, week 12) interactions emerged for any of the biochemical measures.
(1) Twelve weeks of high-intensity resistance training did not appear to enhance bone formation or inhibit bone resorption in young adult women, as assessed by biochemical markers of bone metabolism. (2) Subsequent maintenance of a high protein intake for 10 days in these regularly-training, calcium-replete women also showed no effects on bone metabolism.

Mullins NM, Sinning WE
Nutr Metab (Lond) Aug 2005
PMID: 16098231 | Free Full Text

The results are surprising. The full study is available using the link above. The authors note that these women were taking calcium supplements.

…to exclude the potential effects of calcium deficiency, each subject was given a supply of calcium supplements … to begin consuming for the duration of the study. Each was instructed to carry the calcium tablets in her purse or backpack, and was regularly reminded to consume one 500-mg tablet, twice per day.

There may not have been much more bone enhancement to gain.

…the subjects were healthy, eumenorrheic, calcium-replete women, regularly participating in high-intensity exercise.

They measured alkaline phosphatase, serum osteocalcin, urinary calcium. and urinary deoxypyridinoline.

It is possible that other biomarkers may have produced different results, and that, given a longer time frame, bone densitometry could detect osteogenic effects.


Insignificant Bone Density Increase After 9 Months of Strength Training


Effect of resistance exercise on bone mineral density in premenopausal women.

To assess the effect of 9 months of strength training on total body and regional bone mineral density (BMD, g/cm(2)) in 58 premenopausal women aged 30-50 years.
Participants were randomized to either twice weekly supervised strength training for 15 weeks followed by 24 weeks of unsupervised training (treatment group) or control group. Height, weight, maximal muscular strength, nutrient intake and physical activity were assessed. Total body dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, Lunar Prodigy) scans were taken and analyzed for body composition (lean and fat mass), and BMD for total body and its sub-regions (spine, hip, arms and legs). All measurements were performed at baseline, 15 and 39 weeks. Analysis of covariance was used to assess group differences in BMD change adjusted for baseline BMD, weight, energy and calcium intake.
At baseline, the two groups had similar BMD and body size characteristics ( P<0.05 for all), except that the treatment group had lower body weight (-7.1 kg), and higher energy (+259 kJ/d) and calcium (+232 mg/d) intake at baseline. Adjusted % change in BMD over 15 weeks (0.5% vs. 0.4%) or 39 weeks (0.9% vs. 1.2%) did not differ significantly between the exercise and control groups, respectively. The exercise group increased BMD at the spine and legs (1-2.2%), while there was no change in the controls, but differences between groups were not significant.
Strength training over 9 months did not lead to significantly greater change in total body or regional BMD in premenopausal women.

Singh JA, Schmitz KH, Petit MA
Joint Bone Spine May 2009
PMID: 19217817