WOMEN AND MEN RESPOND TO STRENGTH TRAINING SIMILARLY
O'Hagan, F. T., Sale, D. G., MacDougall, J. D., & Garner, S. H. (1995). Response to resistance training in young women and men. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 16, 314-321.
Ss (M = 6; F = 6) trained the elbow flexors for three days per week for 20 weeks, one arm performing in each session 3-5 sets of 10 maximal concentric actions on an accommodating resistance device, the other arm 3-5 sets of 8-12 coupled eccentric/concentric actions on a weight training device.
Females recorded significantly greater gains on both devices in absolute and relative strength. Changes in muscle size and characteristics were similar in both gender groups.
In response to the same short-term training program, muscle characteristic changes were similar for both genders but females made greater relative strength gains. The gain differences were attributed to the females having a lower initial level of strength.
Implication. Males and females respond to strength training similarly in terms of structure and gains. Those starting from lower levels of strength have the capacity to improve to a greater relative degree.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.