Dosage of Exercise for Men on Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) – AUA

Share Button

High impact exercise is most important for men on Androgen Deprivation Therapy (Hormone Therapy) for prostate cancer


ADT Exer

Men with prostate cancer (CaP) undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) are recognized to gain fat mass, lose muscle, and be subject to a series of adverse effects from the therapy.

Dr. Robert Newton, an exercise scientist from Australia gave a brilliant presentation at the AUA conference on the benefits of properly done exercise in reducing side effects from ADT (hormone treatment) for prostate cancer.

In the research Dr. Newton and his team,  two important findings were observed:

1. Six month of supervised exercise resulted in improved cardio vascular and repiratory fitness, lower-body physical function, self-reported physical functioning and mental health, and muscle strength compared with standard public health recommendations on physical activity

2. These benefits were largely sustained in the following 6 mo with a home-based maintenance program.

The exercise routine included the following:

Approximately 60 minutes in duration, involving moderate to high intensity aerobic and resistance exercises as well as standard warm-up and 8 cool-down periods.

The aerobic exercise component included 20– 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise using a variety of modes such as walking or jogging on a treadmill, cycling or rowing on a stationary ergometer or exercising on a cross trainer machine.

Target intensity was set at approximately 70-85% of estimated maximum heart rate. The resistance exercise component involved 8 exercises that targeted the major upper and lower body muscle groups (leg press, leg extension, leg curl, calf raise, chest press, lat pulldown, biceps curl and triceps extension). Cormie et al. 2014

Dr. Newton made an important point that stuck in my head. He said, “Exercise is not a single medicine and how it’s prescribed make all the difference.”

My Take On This

Wow! You can imagine how excited I was listening to Dr. Newton’s presentation. I have clinically found that men on ADT for prostate cancer still experience suboptimal quality of life when only doing aerobic exercises and no weight resistance.

And not only is weight resistance important, the proper amount is also critical. The prostate cancer book I am currently writing , the CaPLESS Wellness Method,   emphasies the dosage on everything from broccoli consumption to exercise to supplements.

Another words, it’d be useful to know what is the minimal effective dose of every aspect of a targeted lifestyle program to get maximal results.


Doggy Bag Message

Well, now we know that men on ADT (hormone therapy) for prostate cancer should practice weight resistance, 3 to 4 times a week, 30 minutes at a time,  while including aerobic exercises the rest of the time. The amount of total time of exercise per week should be 3 to 4 hours. Nothing less.



AUA 2014, Orlando, Florida

Cormie P1, Galvão DA, Spry N, Joseph D, Chee R, Taaffe DR, Chambers SK, Newton RU.Can Supervised Exercise Prevent Treatment Toxicity in Prostate Cancer Patients Initiating Androgen Deprivation Therapy: A Randomised Controlled Trial. BJU Int. 2014 Jan 27.

Share Button

by Dr. Geo

4 comments… add one
  • Ken Niehoff 05/20/2014, 11:09 AM

    I have a client that recently went through androgen deprivation and prostatectomy. I optimized his nutrition and he performed the following program: 8 all out 30 sec. sprints on a bicycle with 1 minute rest in between. This was follow by 45 minutes of strength training. He did 3 exercise sessions per week. He was exceptionally fit before prostate cancer and stayed that way throughout treatment. I expected the androgen deprivation to have a strong effect on his fitness but at most it had a very minor negative effect.

    • Dr. Geo 05/20/2014, 1:42 PM

      Thanks for sharing Ken. Absolutely. I see the same exact thing with many patients between the ages of 47 to 82 – on ADT following an intensive exercise regimen. Some of them actually sustain their sexual desire and function well. It’s remarkable. GE

  • ozmedsdirect 06/22/2014, 6:13 AM

    Oh.. that’s a very good article. i like it!
    Drugs regularly recommended to treat erectile dysfunction in grown-up guys may help young men who have a muscle infection called Duchenne brawny dystrophy, as indicated by another study.

  • Jim 07/28/2017, 12:04 PM

    ADT Hormone therapy, big profit$, devastating side effects: Lupron injections is one of the most common. Men are also prescribed hormone therapy (ADT therapy), AKA chemical castration as an additional or only treatment. Hormone (ADT) therapy is sometimes over prescribed for profit, per some studies. Hormone therapy is often very expensive (Profitable for doctors if provided at the doctors office and not a pharmacy) and can have horrible, strange and devastating side effects, feminization, hot flashes, fatigue, weight gain, depression, etc. His penis could shrink and his testicles can completely disappear, he may grow breasts. This treatment can have so many mind and body altering side effects that doctors will often not inform patients about all of them. One man stated that ADT therapy turned him into a menopausal woman. Men are sometimes castrated (orchiectomy) as a cancer treatment to reduce testosterone. Amnesty International calls chemical castration “inhuman”. ADT therapy is often used in sex reassignment surgery, male-to-female transsexuals. Studies (Medicare and financial) have documented doctors do over prescribe ADT therapy for profit (depending on Insurance payout rates/profit margin). When insurance payment reimbursement for ADT decreased so did the number of patients being prescribed ADT therapy! Per Wikipedia: “in patients with localized prostate cancer, confined to the prostate, ADT has demonstrated no survival advantage, and significant harm, such as impotence, diabetes and bone loss. Even so, 80% of American doctors provide ADT to patients with localized prostate cancer.” Overtreatment with ADT is extremely profitable, unfortunate and avoidable.


Leave a Comment

Next Post:

Previous Post: