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Effects of a Short-Term Resistance Program Using Elastic Bands Versus Weight Machines for Sedentary Middle-Aged Women

Colado, Juan C1; Triplett, N Travis2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 5 - p 1441-1448
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31817ae67a
Original Research

Colado, JC and Triplett, NT. Effects of a short-term resistance program using elastic bands versus weight machines for sedentary middle-aged women. J Strength Cond Res 22(5): 1441-1448, 2008-This study was designed to determine whether different effects on functional capacity and body composition were produced by using different devices (elastic bands (EBs) versus weight machines (WMs)) with the same resistance training program. Forty-five healthy sedentary middle-aged women volunteers were chosen and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 21 subjects trained using EBs (EBG), 14 in trained using WMs (WMG), and 10 were controls (CG). Both exercise groups trained with a periodized muscular endurance program twice a week for 10 weeks, with a total of 6 exercises per session for the major muscle groups. Exercise intensity was equalized by jointly monitoring the same targeted number of repetitions (TNRs) and rate of perceived exertion in active muscles (RPE-AM). Functional capacity was assessed by using knee push-up (KPU) and 60-second squat (S) tests. Body composition was measured using an 8-polar bioelectrical impedance analyzer. The results for both the EBG and WMG show a decrease in fat mass (p = 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) and an increase in both the fat-free mass (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) and the number of repetitions in the KPU (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) and S tests (p < 0.01 in both). None of the variables measured for the CG varied significantly. It can be concluded that, independently of the device used, the combined monitoring of TNRs and RPE-AM can be a valid tool for controlling the resistance exercise intensity and can lead to healthy adaptations. EBs can thus offer significant physiological benefits that are comparable to those obtained from WMs in the early phase of strength training of sedentary middle-aged women.

1Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; 2Neuromuscular Laboratory, Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

Address correspondence to Juan C. Colado,

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association