Effects of manual resistance training on fitness in adolescents

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Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

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Manual resistance training (MRT), an alternative to traditional resistance training requires minimal equipment and may be effective when applied in school-based physical education (PE) classes. The purpose of this study was to document the physical changes in adolescents (n = 222) using MRT in school-based PE settings. Six fitness tests from the Fitness- gram assessment tool were selected to assess students' cardiovascular and muscular fitness, and skinfold tests were used to assess body composition. One control and 2 experimental groups were defined. The control group of students (n = 129) attended regular PE classes. One experimental group (n = 63) attended PE that was complemented by the MRT system. A second experimental group (n = 30) attended PE complemented by MRT and cardiovascular endurance training. With use of the selected Fitnessgram tests, post-test measurements were performed after 9 and 18 weeks of PE. At baseline, there were no significant differences among the 3 groups for most measures. Compared with baseline, the experimental groups improved significantly in all 6 fitness measures and showed more improvements than the control group in most fitness measures both at 9 and 18 weeks. None of the groups showed significant improvement in body composition. The results documented that an MRT-complemented PE program was effective in improving adolescents' muscular fitness. An 18-week combined MRT and cardiovascular endurance training program effectively improved cardiovascular and muscular fitness but was ineffective in improving adolescent body composition. An MRT-based exercise session requires minimal equipment and set-up and can be performed in a short period of time, and therefore it is suitable for application in regular PE settings. © 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association.





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