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Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2007

The purpose of this research was to examine possible relationships between selected muscle endurance tasks and gender. Until 1990, girls' and women's programs infrequently contained activities such as sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and exercises with resistance equipment. This lack of exposure may have, in turn, resulted in much poorer performance than men when examined in experimental settings. The results of a discriminant analysis indicated that the women (n = 31) in this study did not differ from men (n = 31) in the mean number of sit-ups, modified push-ups, and leg adductions performed, but that the men performed more lateral arm raises than the women (p < 0.05). When the influence of the age, height, and weight of the subjects (mean +/- SD; 24.13 +/- 7.50 years, 173.05 +/- 8.77 cm, 76.34 +/- 13.01 kg for men; 26.61 +/- 11.12 years, 161.82 +/- 6.47 cm, 58.89 +/- 10.91 kg for women) was examined, there were only small changes in the structure of the discriminant function generated in the first analysis. These findings should be approached with caution because of possible limitations related to the size and representativeness of the sample and lack of measurement equipment such as video cameras. The fact that the pattern of results in this study differed somewhat from patterns in earlier research may indicate that the findings in this study are: (a) a random result or comparison anomaly related to characteristics specific to this convenience sample of women and men or (b) suggestive that differences between women and men in the tests chosen may be representative of changes that are beginning to occur in the degree of differences between men and women in college resistance training or other fitness-related classes. Practical applications of the results of this study for teachers of resistance training or fitness-related classes in secondary school, college, and adult recreation might be that fitness programs should be individualized to meet needs specific to each student and that coeducational classes and programs should be expanded, especially offerings of fitness-related activities.

(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association