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Pediatrics. 1999 Jul;104(1):e5.

The effects of different resistance training protocols on muscular strength and endurance development in children.

Author information

1
Department of Human Performance and Fitness, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts 02125-3393, USA. avery.faigenbaum@umb.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous research has shown that children can increase their muscular strength and muscular endurance as a result of regular participation in a progressive resistance training program. However, the most effective exercise prescription regarding the number of repetitions remains questionable.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the effects of a low repetition-heavy load resistance training program and a high repetition-moderate load resistance training program on the development of muscular strength and muscular endurance in children. Design. Prospective, controlled trial.

SETTING:

Community-based youth fitness center.

SUBJECTS:

Eleven girls and 32 boys between the ages of 5.2 and 11.8 years.

INTERVENTION:

In twice-weekly sessions of resistance training for 8 weeks, children performed 1 set of 6 to 8 repetitions with a heavy load (n = 15) or 1 set of 13 to 15 repetitions with a moderate load (n = 16) on child-size exercise machines. Children in the control group (n = 12) did not resistance train. One repetition maximum (RM) strength and muscular endurance (repetitions performed posttraining with the pretraining 1-RM load) were determined on the leg extension and chest press exercises.

RESULTS:

One RM leg extension strength significantly increased in both exercise groups compared with that in the control subjects. Increases of 31.0% and 40.9%, respectively, for the low repetition-heavy load and high repetition-moderate load groups were observed. Leg extension muscular endurance significantly increased in both exercise groups compared with that in the control subjects, although gains resulting from high repetition-moderate load training (13.1 +/- 6.2 repetitions) were significantly greater than those resulting from low repetition-heavy load training (8.7 +/- 2.9 repetitions). On the chest press exercise, only the high repetition-moderate load exercise group made gains in 1-RM strength (16.3%) and muscular endurance (5.2 +/- 3.6 repetitions) that were significantly greater than gains in the control subjects.

CONCLUSION:

These findings support the concept that muscular strength and muscular endurance can be improved during the childhood years and favor the prescription of higher repetition-moderate load resistance training programs during the initial adaptation period.

PMID:
10390291
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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