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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of resistance training (RT) on body composition, muscle strength, and functional capacity in elderly women with and without sarcopenic obesity (SO).

Methods: A total of 49 women (aged $60 years) were divided in two groups: without SO (non-SO, n=41) and with SO (n=8). Both groups performed a periodized RT program consisting of two weekly sessions for 16 weeks. All measures were assessed at baseline and postintervention, including anthropometry and body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), muscle strength (one repetition maximum) for chest press and 45° leg press, and functional capacity (stand up, elbow flexion, timed “up and go”).

Results: After the intervention, only the non-SO group presented significant reductions in percentage body fat (-2.2%; P=0.006), waist circumference (-2.7%; P=0.01), waist-to-hip ratio (-2.3; P=0.02), and neck circumference (-1.8%; P=0.03) as compared with baseline. Muscle strength in the chest press and biceps curl increased in non-SO only (12.9% and 11.3%, respectively), while 45° leg press strength increased in non-SO (50.3%) and SO (40.5%) as compared with baseline. Performance in the chair stand up and timed “up and go” improved in non-SO only (21.4% and -8.4%, respectively), whereas elbow flexion performance increased in non-SO (23.8%) and SO (21.4%). Effect sizes for motor tests were of higher magnitude in the non-SO group, and in general, considered “moderate” compared to “trivial” in the SO group.

Conclusion: Results suggest that adaptations induced by 16 weeks of RT are attenuated in elderly woman with SO, compromising improvements in adiposity indices and gains in muscle strength and functional capacity.


This article was orginally published in Clinical Interventions in Aging, available at

This article was distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v 3.0) License.



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