The effects of an 8-week strength training program followed by an 8-week detraining period were evaluated in 11 boys and 4 girls, ages 7 to 12 years. Three boys and 6 girls matched for age and level of maturity served as controls. Progressive strength training was performed twice a week on child-size equipment. Subjects were tested on the following measures: 6 repetition maximum (RIM) leg extension, 6-RM chest press, vertical jump, and flexibility. Strength training significantly (p < 0.05; ANOVA) increased 6-RM strength on the leg extension (53.5%) and chest press (41.1%), whereas control group gains averaged 7.9%. Strength training did not significantly affect other variables. Detraining resulted in a significant loss of upper (-19.3%) and lower body (-28.1%) strength in the experimental group. The results suggest that participation in a short-term strength training program will increase the strength of children; however, strength gains regress toward untrained control values during the detraining period.
(C) 1996 National Strength and Conditioning Association