As men age, maintaining healthy testosterone levels becomes crucial for preserving muscle mass, bone density, and overall vitality. Testosterone, a key hormone that peaks during early adulthood, gradually declines as men enter middle age, leading to potential adverse effects on metabolic health, physical performance, and quality of life. Given these challenges, fitness professionals play an essential role in developing strategies that mitigate the natural decline of testosterone through targeted resistance training. This article delves into a recent study published in SportsMed (2024) that investigates the impact of structured resistance training on metabolic health markers, including testosterone levels, in overweight, middle-aged men. By examining the study’s methodology, detailed results, and practical implications, we aim to provide fitness professionals with actionable insights and a periodised training programme tailored to this demographic.

Study Overview

The research explored the effects of resistance training on metabolic health markers in middle-aged, overweight men. The study was a controlled trial lasting 12 weeks, with participants randomly divided into two groups: a resistance training group and a control group that maintained their usual activities.


  • Participants: 100 middle-aged, overweight, non-active men.
  • Intervention: The resistance training programme included exercises for all major muscle groups, performed three times per week. The routine was divided into three phases, each lasting four weeks, with progressively increasing intensity and complexity.
  • Measurements: Key metabolic health markers measured included insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and body composition. Assessments were conducted at the beginning and end of the 12-week period.

Analysis of Results

The study found significant improvements in the resistance training group compared to the control group:

  • Insulin Sensitivity: Improved markedly, suggesting a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Lipid Profiles: Showed a healthier balance, with reductions in LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases in HDL (good cholesterol).
  • Body Composition: Participants lost body fat and gained muscle mass, leading to improved overall physical appearance and metabolic health.

Study Conclusion

The study concluded that regular, structured resistance training significantly enhances metabolic health in overweight, middle-aged men. The changes observed in insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles indicate that resistance training could be a vital component of lifestyle interventions aimed at reducing risks associated with metabolic diseases.

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Practical Tips for Fitness Professionals

For fitness professionals looking to optimise the effectiveness of resistance training for middle-aged, overweight men, here are some practical tips. These recommendations are designed to enhance programme adherence, boost metabolic health outcomes, and ensure that training interventions are safe, enjoyable, and tailored to individual needs. By integrating these strategies into your coaching, you can help your clients achieve significant improvements in their physical health and overall wellbeing.

  • Initial Assessment: Begin with thorough assessments including fitness tests and health screenings to tailor the programme to individual needs.
  • Progressive Overload: Emphasise the importance of progressive overload to ensure continuous improvement. Start with lighter weights and basic exercises, gradually increasing the intensity.
  • Holistic Approach: Combine resistance training with dietary guidance and lifestyle changes to maximise the benefits on metabolic health.
  • Engagement: Keep your clients motivated by setting short-term goals and celebrating milestones along their fitness journey.
  • Education: Educate clients on the importance of consistency and the role of resistance training in preventing and managing metabolic health issues.

Detailed Periodised Programme

Introducing a tailored and carefully periodised training programme can be transformative, particularly for middle-aged men seeking to improve their metabolic health and hormonal balance. The following detailed programme is designed to adapt to the physiological needs and capabilities of this demographic, emphasising gradual progression to prevent injury while maximising the benefits of resistance training. Spanning 12 weeks, this structured regimen is divided into three distinct phases, each crafted to build upon the last, enhancing strength, muscle mass, and overall metabolic function through calculated increases in exercise complexity and intensity. Let’s delve into the specifics of each phase to empower fitness professionals with a roadmap to guide their clients towards improved health and vitality.

Phase 1: Foundation Building (Weeks 1-4)

  • Focus: Familiarisation with equipment and techniques.
  • Routine: Full-body workouts focusing on major muscle groups—3 days a week.
  • Exercises: Squats, bench presses, and rows. 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Phase 2: Intensity Increase (Weeks 5-8)

  • Focus: Gradual increase in intensity.
  • Routine: Split routines to allow more focus and recovery—4 days a week.
  • Exercises: Include variations like deadlifts, overhead presses, and pull-ups. 4 sets of 6-8 reps.

Phase 3: Peak Conditioning (Weeks 9-12)

  • Focus: Maximal strength and muscle gain.
  • Routine: Focus on compound movements with higher intensity—5 days a week.
  • Exercises: Complex movements like clean and press, heavy squats, and bench press variations. 5 sets of 4-6 reps.

This periodised resistance training programme, when coupled with appropriate nutritional support and lifestyle modifications, can significantly enhance metabolic health in the target demographic. Fitness professionals can play a pivotal role by effectively implementing and adapting these guidelines based on individual client needs and responses.


Green, D.J., Chasland, L.C., Yeap, B.B. et al. “Comparing the Impacts of Testosterone and Exercise on Lean Body Mass, Strength and Aerobic Fitness in Aging Men.” Sports Med – Open 10, 30 (2024). Click here to review the full research article

Improve Testosterone Levels in Middle Aged Men as a Strength & Conditioning Exercise Specialist

Elevate your fitness expertise with our “Strength & Conditioning Exercise Specialist” course, assisting trainers aiming to enhance the metabolic health and testosterone levels of middle-aged, overweight men. This comprehensive training programme is rooted in evidence from recent studies, such as the one investigating the positive effects of structured resistance training on metabolic markers, including testosterone. Over the course of 12 weeks, participants in this study experienced marked improvements in insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and body composition. Our course offers in-depth insights into creating periodised training regimes that are safe, effective, and tailored to meet the physiological needs of this demographic. By enrolling, you’ll gain access to actionable strategies that combine resistance training with nutritional guidance and lifestyle adjustments, empowering you to lead your clients towards a healthier, more vibrant life. Join us to transform your approach to fitness and specialise in a field that makes a real difference in the lives of your clients.

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