Early-Phase Adaptations of Traditional-Speed vs. Superslow Resistance Training on Strength and Aerobic Capacity in Sedentary Individuals

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

We performed a randomized exercise training study to assess the effects of traditional Nautilus-style (TR) or superslow (SS) strength training on muscular strength, body composition, aerobic capacity, and cardiovascular endurance. Subjects were 14 healthy, sedentary women, 19–45 years of age (mean ± SD age, 32.7 ± 8.9 years), randomized to either the SS or TR training protocols and trained 3 times per week for 10 weeks. Measurements were taken both before and after training, which included a maximal incremental exercise test on a cycle ergometer, body composition, and 1 repetition maximum (1RM) tests on 8 Nautilus machines. Both groups increased their strength significantly on all 8 exercises, whereas the TR group increased significantly more than the SS group on bench press (34% vs. 11%), torso arm (anterior lateral pull-down) (27% vs. 12%), leg press (33% vs. 7%), leg extension (56% vs. 24%), and leg curl (40% vs. 15%). Thus, the TR group's improvement in total exercise weight lifted was significantly greater than that of the SS group after testing (39% vs. 15%). Exercise duration on the cycle ergometer and work rate significantly improved for both groups, but there was no group-by-training interaction. No significant differences were found for body composition or additional aerobic variables measured. Both strength training protocols produced a significant improvement in strength during a 10-week training period, but the TR protocol produced better gains in the absence of changes in percentage of body fat, body mass index, lean body mass, and body weight. In addition, strength training alone did not improve Vo2max, yet short-term endurance increased.

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