To determine the influence of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene FokI and BsmI genotype on bone mineral density response to two exercise training modalities, 206 healthy men and women (50-81 years old) were studied before and after approximately 5-6 months of either aerobic exercise training (AT) or strength training (ST). A totla of 123 subjects completed AT (51 men, 72 women) and 83 subjects completed ST (40 men, 43 women). DNA was extracted from blood samples of all subjects and genotyping was performed at the VDR FokI and BsmI locus to determine its association to training response. Total body, greater trochanter and femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) were measured before and after both training programmes using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. VDR BsmI genotype was not significantly related to BMD at baseline or after ST or AT. However, VDR FokI genotype was significantly related to ST- but not AT-induced changes in femoral neck BMD (P < 0.05). The heterozygotes (Ff) in the ST group approached a significantly greater increase in femoral neck BMD (P = 0.058) compared to f homozygotes. There were no significant genotype relationships in the AT group. These data indicate that VDR FokI genotype may influence femoral neck BMD response to ST, but not AT.