Changes in Muscle Hypertrophy in Women with Periodized Resistance Training

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Abstract

Purpose

Adaptations of arm and thigh muscle hypertrophy to different long-term periodized resistance training programs and the influence of upper body resistance training were examined.

Methods

Eighty-five untrained women (mean age = 23.1 ± 3.5 yr) started in one of the following groups: total-body training [TP, N = 18 (3–8 RM training range) and TH, N = 21 (8–12 RM training range)], upper-body training [UP, N = 21 (3–8 RM training range) and UH, N = 19, (8–12 RM training range)], or a control group (CON, N = 6). Training took place on three alternating days per week for 24 wk. Assessments of body composition, muscular performance, and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were determined pretraining (T1), and after 12 (T2) and 24 wk (T3) of training.

Results

Arm CSA increased at T2 (∼11%) and T3 (∼6%) in all training groups and thigh CSA increased at T2 (∼3%) and T3 (∼4.5%) only in TP and TH. Squat one-repetition maximum (1 RM) increased at T2 (∼24%) and T3 (∼11.5%) only in TP and TH and all training groups increased 1 RM bench press at T2 (∼16.5%) and T3 (∼12.4%). Peak power produced during loaded jump squats increased from T1 to T3 only in TP (12%) and TH (7%). Peak power during the ballistic bench press increased at T2 only in TP and increased from T1 to T3 in all training groups.

Conclusions

Training specificity was supported (as sole upper-body training did not influence lower-body musculature) along with the inclusion of heavier loading ranges in a periodized resistance-training program. This may be advantageous in a total conditioning program directed at development of muscle tissue mass in young women.

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