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Musculoskeletal responses to high- and low-intensity resistance training in early postmenopausal women

, : Musculoskeletal responses to high- and low-intensity resistance training in early postmenopausal women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 32(11): 1949-1957

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a high-load (80%, 1-repetition maximum (RM), 8 reps) and a high-repetition (40%, 1-RM, 16 reps) resistance training protocol on muscular strength and bone mineral density (BMD) in early postmenopausal, estrogen-deficient women. The 6-month programs were matched initially for training volume (3 sets, 3 dcntdotwk-1) for 12 exercises selected to specifically load the spine and hip. Methods: Subjects included 25 women (41-60 yr) who were matched by spine BMD then randomly assigned to either the high-load (HL, N=10), high-repetition (HR, N=7), or control (C, N=8) groups. Dietary calcium intakes were supplemented to apprx1500 mgcntdotd-1. Total body, spine, and hip BMD (DXA, Lunar Model DPX-IQ), upper and lower body muscular strength, and biochemical markers of bone turnover were measured at baseline and after 6 months of training. Results: There were no group differences in the baseline measures. Both training groups showed similar increases in biceps (20%) and rectus femoris (28-33%) cross-sectional areas, in lower body strength (apprx30%) and in hip strength (37-40%). HL showed greater improvements in upper body strength (HL 25%, HR 16%). Neither training group experienced significant increases in spine or hip BMD, although the HL total body BMD tended to decrease (-1.1%+-0.4, P=0.054) after training. Osteocalcin tended to increase (P=0.08) in all groups after training, and the % change in osteocalcin was positively related to % changes in the total hip (r=0.41, P=0.048) and the trochanter (r=0.42, P=0.04) BMD. Conclusion: The high-load and high-repetition resistance training protocols were both effective in improving muscular strength and size in postmenopausal women, indicating low-intensity resistance training can be beneficial for the muscular fitness in women for whom high-intensity exercise is contraindicated.


PMID: 11079527

DOI: 10.1097/00005768-200011000-00020

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