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Very low levels of strength and muscular endurance have been reported in adults with mental retardation. A progressive resistance training program was developed for a group of adults with mental retardation (ages 23-49 yrs) using state-of-the-art equipment (Nautilus Isokinetic Systems). A MANCOVA analysis was employed to determine the differences between control and experimental groups. The analysis revealed a significant overall group effect. Subsequent univariate ANCOVA analyses were performed to isolate the significant dependent measures. Results indicated that a 2-day-a-week resistance training program was effective in improving the strength levels of this population. It was also revealed that the resistance training program was favorably received by the participants and could be performed with minimal assistance. Service providers for the mentally retarded should consider community based weight training facilities as a viable avenue for improving the strength levels of this population.
Request reprints from James H. Rimmer, Northern Illinois University, Department of Physical Education, Anderson Hall 228, DeKalb, IL 60115