Men get osteoporosis, too, and lifting can help

A recent study found that middle-age men with osteopenia—loss of bone mass—can rebuild bone with weightlifting exercises. Although this result from a randomized trial isn’t surprising, it’s worth noting because unlike many studies its subjects are neither college students nor institutionalized elderly.


Pam Hinton, Ph.D. Photo courtesy University of Missouri

Of particular interest to me were comments from the lead researcher, Pam Hinton, associate professor and the director of nutritional sciences graduate studies in the nutrition and exercise physiology department at University of Missouri.

According to Jesslyn Chew, Hinton said, “Only the bone experiencing the mechanical load is going to get stronger, so we specifically chose exercises that would load the hip and the spine, which is why we had participants do squats, deadlifts, lunges, and the overhead press.” And: “Also, the intensity of the loading needs to increase over time to build strength. Both of the training programs gradually increased in intensity, and our participants also had rest weeks. Bones need to rest to continue to maximize the response.”

Emphases are mine.  Read Chew’s story at

Like all studies, this one’s findings don’t necessarily apply to everyone, but it provides added evidence that lifting is good for what aging does to us.

So, lifters, keep lifting, increasing intensity and resting periodically.