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Changes in Muscle Hypertrophy in Women with Periodized Resistance Training

KRAEMER, WILLIAM J.1; NINDL, BRADLEY C.2; RATAMESS, NICHOLAS A.3; GOTSHALK, LINCOLN A.4; VOLEK, JEFF S.1; FLECK, STEVEN J.5; NEWTON, ROBERT U.6; HÄKKINEN, KEIJO7

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: April 2004 - Volume 36 - Issue 4 - pp 697-708
APPLIED SCIENCES: Physical Fitness and Performance

KRAEMER, W. J., B. C. NINDL, N. A. RATAMESS, L. A. GOTSHALK, J. S. VOLEK, S. J. FLECK, R. U. NEWTON, and K. HÄKKINEN. Changes in Muscle Hypertrophy in Women with Periodized Resistance Training. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 697–708, 2004.

Purpose: Adaptations of arm and thigh muscle hypertrophy to different long-term periodized resistance training programs and the influence of upper body resistance training were examined.

Methods: Eighty-five untrained women (mean age = 23.1 ± 3.5 yr) started in one of the following groups: total-body training [TP, N = 18 (3–8 RM training range) and TH, N = 21 (8–12 RM training range)], upper-body training [UP, N = 21 (3–8 RM training range) and UH, N = 19, (8–12 RM training range)], or a control group (CON, N = 6). Training took place on three alternating days per week for 24 wk. Assessments of body composition, muscular performance, and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were determined pretraining (T1), and after 12 (T2) and 24 wk (T3) of training.

Results: Arm CSA increased at T2 (∼11%) and T3 (∼6%) in all training groups and thigh CSA increased at T2 (∼3%) and T3 (∼4.5%) only in TP and TH. Squat one-repetition maximum (1 RM) increased at T2 (∼24%) and T3 (∼11.5%) only in TP and TH and all training groups increased 1 RM bench press at T2 (∼16.5%) and T3 (∼12.4%). Peak power produced during loaded jump squats increased from T1 to T3 only in TP (12%) and TH (7%). Peak power during the ballistic bench press increased at T2 only in TP and increased from T1 to T3 in all training groups.

Conclusions: Training specificity was supported (as sole upper-body training did not influence lower-body musculature) along with the inclusion of heavier loading ranges in a periodized resistance-training program. This may be advantageous in a total conditioning program directed at development of muscle tissue mass in young women.

1Human Performance Laboratory Department of Kinesiology, Department of Physiology and Neurobiology University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT;

2Military Performance Division U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA;

3Department of Health and Exercise Science The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ;

4Department of Health and Physical Education, University of Hawaii-Hilo, Hilo, HI;

5Department of Sport Science, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO;

6School of Biomedical and Sports Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, AUSTRALIA; and

7Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, FINLAND

Address for correspondence: William J. Kraemer, Ph.D., Human Performance Laboratory Department of Kinesiology, Unit 1110, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-1110; E-mail: William.Kraemer@.uconn.edu.

Submitted for publication August 2003.

Accepted for publication November 2003.

©2004The American College of Sports Medicine