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The effectiveness of a twice-a-week strength training program on children was evaluated in 14 boys and girls (mean age 10.8 yrs) who participated in a biweekly training program for 8 weeks. Each subject performed three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions on five exercises with intensities ranging between 50 and 100% of a given 10-repetition maximum (RM). All subjects were pre- and posttested on the following measures: 10-RM strength, sit and reach flexibility, vertical jump, seated ball put, resting blood pressure, and body composition parameters. The subjects were compared to a similar group of boys and girls (n = 9; mean age 9.9 yrs) who were randomly selected to serve as controls. Following the training period, the experimental group made greater gains in strength (74.3%) as compared to the control group (13.0%) (p < 0.001), and differences in the sum of seven skinfolds were noted (−2.3% vs. +1.7%, respectively, p < 0.05). Training did not significantly affect other variables. These results suggest that participation in a short-term, twice-a-week strength training program can increase the strength and improve the body composition of young boys and girls.
Presented at the annual meeting of the New England American College of Sports Medicine, November 1992, Boxborough, MA.
A.D. Faigenbaum and L.D. Zaichkowsky are with the Dept. of Human Movement, School of Education, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215. W.L. Westcott is with the South Shore YMCA, Quincy, MA 02169. L.J. Micheli and A.F. Fehlandt are with the Division of Sports Medicine, Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.