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Eight Weeks of Resistance Training Can Significantly Alter Body Composition in Children Who Are Overweight or Obese

McGuigan, Michael R1,2; Tatasciore, Melissa1; Newton, Robert U1,2; Pettigrew, Simone3

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 80-85
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181876a56
Original Research

McGuigan, MR, Tatasciore, M, Newton, RU, and Pettigrew, S. Eight weeks of resistance training can significantly alter body composition in children who are overweight or obese. J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 80-85, 2009-The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an 8-week resistance training program on children who were overweight or obese. Forty-eight children (n = 26 girls and 22 boys; mean age = 9.7 years) participated in an 8-week undulating periodized resistance training program for 3 d·wk−1. Measures of body composition via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, anthropometry, strength, and power were made before and after the training intervention. There was a significant decrease in absolute percent body fat of 2.6% (p = 0.003) and a significant increase in lean body mass of 5.3% (p = 0.07). There were no significant changes in height, weight, body mass index, total fat mass, or bone mineral content. There were significant increases in 1-repetition maximum squat (74%), number of push-ups (85%), countermovement jump height (8%), static jump height (4%), and power (16%). These results demonstrate that the resistance training program implemented produces significant changes in body composition and strength and power measures, as well as being well tolerated by the participants. An undulating periodized program provides variation and significantly increases lean body mass, decreases percent body fat, and increases strength and power in children who are overweight and obese.

1School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, 2Vario Health Institute, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia; and 3University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia

Address correspondence to Michael R. McGuigan,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association