This study compared the effects of 12 weeks of step aerobic training with and without handheld weights on cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, muscular strength, and incidence of injury in college women (18-36 yrs). Subjects participated in either a step aerobic training program with handweights (HW) or without handweights (NHW) 3 days a week for 30 min, at 75 to 90% HR max. Resistance for the HW group, who used the handheld weights continuously for 15 min during each 30-min session, progressively increased. MANOVA indicated significant (p < 0.01) improvements for both training groups for [latin capital V with dot above]O2, max, treadmill run time, % body fat, fat-free mass, and muscular strength (peak torque) for shoulder flexion and extension, shoulder horizontal adduction and abduction, and knee flexion. However, these improvements did not differ significantly between groups. No upper body injuries were reported for HW. It is concluded that step aerobic training, with and without HW, has a positive effect on cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and muscular strength in healthy women-without additional risk of injury.
(C) 1997 National Strength and Conditioning Association