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Mechanical muscle function and lean body mass during supervised strength training and testosterone therapy in aging men with low-normal testosterone levels.

Author(s): Kvorning T(1), Christensen LL, Madsen K, Nielsen JL, Gejl KD, Brixen K, Andersen M.

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. tkvorning@health.sdu.dk

Publication date & source: 2013, J Am Geriatr Soc. , 61(6):957-62

OBJECTIVES: To examine the effect of strength training and testosterone therapy on mechanical muscle function and lean body mass (LBM) in aging men with low-normal testosterone levels in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 24-week study. DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled. SETTING: Odense, Denmark. PARTICIPANTS: Men aged 60 to 78, with bioavailable testosterone levels of less than 7.3 nmol/L and a waist circumference greater than 94 cm were randomized to testosterone (50-100 mg/d, n = 22) placebo (n = 23) or strength training (n = 23) for 24 weeks. The strength training group was randomized to addition of testosterone or placebo after 12 weeks. Subjects performed supervised strength training (2-3 sets with 6- to 10-repetition maximum loads, 3 times per week). MEASUREMENTS: Testosterone levels, maximal voluntary contraction and rate of force development, and LBM were obtained at 0 and at Weeks 12 and 24 of the intervention. RESULTS: No changes in any variables were recorded with placebo. In the strength training group, maximal voluntary contraction increased 8% after 12 weeks (P = .005). During the following 12 weeks of strength training rate of force development increased by 10% (P = .04) and maximal voluntary contraction further increased (P < .001). Mechanical muscle function was unchanged in men receiving only testosterone for 24 weeks. LBM increased only in men receiving testosterone (P = .004). CONCLUSION: Strength training in aging men with low-normal testosterone levels may improve mechanical muscle function, but this effect occurs without a significant increase in LBM. Clinically, only the combination of testosterone therapy and strength training resulted in an increase in mechanical muscle function and LBM.

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