This study examined the effects of 4 different resistance training protocols on upper-body strength and local muscle endurance development in children. Untrained boys and girls (mean +/- SD age, 8.1 +/- 1.6 years) trained twice per week for 8 weeks using child-sized weight machines and medicine balls weighing 1-2.5 kg. In addition to general conditioning exercises, subjects in each exercise group performed 1 set of the following exercise protocols for upperbody conditioning: 6-8 repetitions with a heavy load on the chest press exercise (HL, n = 15); 13-15 repetitions with a moderate load on the chest press exercise (ML, n = 16); 6-8 repetitions with a heavy load on the chest press exercise immediately followed by 6-8 medicine ball chest passes (CX, n = 12); or 13-15 medicine ball chest passes (MB, n = 11). Twelve children served as nontraining controls (CT). After training, only the ML and CX groups demonstrated significant (p < 0.05) improvements in 1RM chest press strength (16.8% and 16.3%, respectively) as compared with the CT group. Local muscle endurance, as determined by the number of repetitions performed posttraining on the chest press exercise with the pretraining 1RM load, significantly increased in the ML group (5.9 +/- 3.2 repetitions) and CX group (5.2 +/- 3.6 repetitions) as compared with the CT group. In terms of enhancing the upper-body strength and local muscle endurance of untrained children, these findings favor the prescription of higher-repetition training protocols during the nitial adaptation period.
(C) 2001 National Strength and Conditioning Association