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Michael A. Machek, Christine B. Stopka, Mark D. Tillman, Suzanne M. Sneed and Keith E. Naugle


To examine the effects of a resistance-training program on athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID).


2-way (2 × 2), repeated-measures analysis of variance on 2 groups (males and females); 30 Special Olympics (SO) athletes, age 16–22 (16 males, 14 females).

Intervention/Outcome Measures:

Resistance training, twice per week, for 3 months on Med-X weight equipment. Exercises tested: chest press, abdominal crunch, seated row, overhead press, seated dip, lower back extension, and biceps curl. The weight lifted and the number of repetitions performed were used to determine predicted 1-repetition max (1RM).


All participants as a group increased significantly in predicted 1RM for each exercise performed. Males were stronger than females for 5 of the 7 exercises. A significant interaction effect between genders was demonstrated for the seated dip.


Significant strength gains can be accomplished by adolescents with ID via a supervised resistance-training program.

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Christine B. Stopka, Kimberly L. Zambito, David G. Suro, Kevin S. Pearson, Ronald A. Siders and Buffy H. Goff

The purpose of this study was to evaluate gains in muscular endurance and physical capacity to perform work in 22 adolescents and young adults (ages 13-22 years) with MR. The participants were tested before and after two consecutive 3-week sessions of supervised resistance training. Specific muscle strength was evaluated using a three repetition maximum (3RM) test, and muscular endurance was assessed using a repetition to failure (RF) test at 60% of the 3RM. The chest press, leg extension, and torso arm exercises were tested. Participants trained twice per week during the training intervals. The data were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA for repeated measures. Significant increases (p ≤ .05) in 3RM, RF, and total work performed during the RF test were found for the leg extension and torso arm exercises. Significant increases (p ≤ .05) in RF performance and total work performed during the RF test were found in the chest press. These results demonstrate that adolescents and young adults with MR can experience significant gains in muscular strength and endurance through a supervised resistance training program.

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Christine B. Stopka, Timothy D. Davis and G. Monique Butcher Mokha

Column-editor : G. Monique Butcher Mokha