The effect of a weight-loss and strength-training program on lean body mass for older women
Weight gain is strongly associated with increased risk for disease and disability. Weight loss programs offer a solution to weight gain, however the standard approach of caloric restriction can result in unwanted losses of lean body mass (LBM). The purpose of this investigation was to determine if strength training would be an effective adjunct to caloric restriction in the preservation of LBM. Additionally, strength was measured to determine if strength gains were made and if a positive correlation existed between LBM and strength. Nine hundred and eighty-one women met the pre-selection criteria: female, fifty years or older, with a body mass index between 25 and 30. Longitudinal results showed a 3.7 percent increase in LBM ( p < 0.01), with concomitant gains in strength (p < 0.01). Finally, data analysis revealed a positive correlation between upper body strength and LBM (p < 0.03) and lower body strength and LBM (p < 0.01). These results add to existing literature supporting the addition of strength training to caloric restriction for the preservation of LBM during weight loss.