Low weight, high reps effective for bone health

In the US alone, it is predicted that 47 million people will suffer from low bone mass in the next five years. In Australia, around a quarter of the population is estimated to have low bone density. Recent research highlights how easy it is to make sure you and your members and clients are not among those who suffer.

A recent study by Les Mills and Pennsylvania State University found that low weight, high repetition resistance training is an effective method of increasing bone density.  Study participants who completed two to three BODYPUMP™ classes per week experienced up to eight per cent bone mineral density increases in their legs, pelvis, arms and spine.  Having a high bone density level is paramount to good health – especially as you age. Once you hit 40 your bone mineral density declines at an accelerated rate.

Head of Research at Les Mills, Bryce Hastings, said the findings have turned an old theory on its head; ‘It's often thought the heavier the weight you lift, the more benefit you get from it, but that's not always true. Lifting very heavy weights has always presented barriers for older and untrained adults as sometimes this type of intensity can be outside the realm of their physical capabilities. That's why using lighter weights is so good – because everyone can do it no matter their age or experience.’

The study also found outstanding results for those with osteopenia – a condition caused by low bone density. These individuals experienced significant bone mineral density increases of up to 29 per cent. Age is no barrier when it comes to increasing bone density. You may not always be able to see the results, but benefits will prove their worth well into the future as those with strong bones are less likely to break them from falls later in life.

The full study titled, ‘Low Load, High Repetition Resistance Training Program Increases Bone Mineral Density In Untrained Adults’  was published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness and is available here.

 Source: Les Mills