This study examined the supplemental benefits of strength training in aerobically active postmenopausal women. Eighteen women (61-71 yrs) who had been participating in regular aerobic exercise for the preceding 8 months were randomly assigned to control (n = 9) and experimental (n = 9) groups. Both groups continued aerobic exercise 3 times a week for the 8-week training period. In addition, the experimental group performed 3 sets (8–12 repetitions) of standard knee extension and flexion exercises at 80% of their 1-repetition maximum (1-RM). In the experimental group, highly significant increases in knee flexion and extension strength were observed. No changes in strength were noted in the control subjects. There were no significant changes in body composition for either group. The data suggest that aerobically active older individuals can greatly increase strength with resistance training, which is consistent with recent recommendations that resistance training should be used to supplement aerobic exercise.
J.D. Ellison, M.P. Chandler, and WJ. Chodzko-Zajko are with the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, where the study was conducted. A.L. Morgan is now at the Noll Physiological Research Center, Perm State University, University Park, PA 16802.