Effects of Traditional and Pyramidal Resistance Training Systems on Muscular Strength, Muscle Mass, and Hormonal Responses in Older Women: A Randomized Crossover Trial

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Ribeiro, AS, Schoenfeld, BJ, Fleck, SJ, Pina, FLC, Nascimento, MA, and Cyrino, ES. Effects of traditional and pyramidal resistance training systems on muscular strength, muscle mass, and hormonal responses in older women: a randomized crossover trial. J Strength Cond Res 31(7): 1888–1896, 2017—The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of resistance training (RT) performed in a pyramid (PR) versus a traditional (TD) system on muscular strength, muscle mass, and hormonal responses in older women. Twenty-five older women (67.6 ± 5.1 years, 65.9 ± 11.1 kg, 154.7 ± 5.8 cm, and 27.5 ± 4.5 kg·m−2) performed both a TD and PR system RT program in a balanced crossover design. The TD program consisted of 3 sets of 8–12 repetition maximum (RM) with a constant load for the 3 sets, whereas the PR system consisted of 3 sets of 12/10/8-RM with incrementally higher loads for each set. Training was performed in 2 phases of 8 weeks each, with a 12-week washout between the 8-week phases. One repetition maximum (1RM) tests were used as measures of muscular strength. Dual X-ray absorptiometry was used to estimate skeletal muscle mass. Testosterone and IGF-1 concentrations were determined preintervention and postintervention after 12 hours fasting. Significant (p ≤ 0.05) increases were observed in both groups for muscular strength in the 1RM chest press (TD = 12.4% and effect size [ES] = 0.86 vs. PR = 11.5% and ES = 0.74), knee extension (TD = 12.5% and ES = 0.61 vs. PR = 11.8% and ES = 0.62), preacher curl (TD = 10.9% and ES = 0.63 vs. PR = 8.6% and ES = 0.54), and for skeletal muscle mass (TD = 3.6% and ES = 0.32 vs. PR = 2.4% and ES = 0.24) with no differences between groups. There were no significant (p > 0.05) main effects for IGF-1 and testosterone. The results suggest that the PR and TD systems performed are similarly effective for promoting positive adaptations in muscular strength and hypertrophy in older women.

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