Faigenbaum, A., LaRosa-Loud, R., Bauer, G., Carson, J., Tziallas, M. & Westcott, W. (1999). Effects of different resistance training protocols on muscular strength and endurance in children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 1595.

This study compared the effects of 8 weeks of low-repetition, heavy-load resistance training (Lrep; N = 15; 1 set of 6-8 repetitions) to high-repetition, moderate-load training (Hrep; N = 16; 1 set of 13-15 repetitions) on the development of strength and muscular endurance in untrained boys and girls averaging 8 years of age. Other children (N = 12) acted as untrained controls. Measures were, 1-RM, and repetitions using pre-training 1-RM, for chest press and leg extension exercises.

Only the Hrep group improved significantly more than the control group in chest press strength (1-RM). For leg extension strength, both groups improved significantly more than the controls. For repetitions, Hrep improved significantly more than the other two groups.

Implication. High repetition, moderate load strength training appears to be more beneficial for strength and muscular endurance gains in untrained children.

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