Effect of Gender and Training Mode on Strength Gain in Resistance Training


Nicole Young, Abby Orf, Jerry L. Mayhew, Jana Arabas, Liz Jorn

Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri

Investigations of the potential of machine weight resistance training (RT) to produce increases in strength have produced varying results. Lacking is comparison of the effect of different machine weight methods on specific and general strength increases and the carry-over value between the two techniques. PURPOSE: To determine the influence of sex and training mode on specific and general strength increases resulting from machine RT in college men and women. METHODS: College men (n = 113) and women (n = 120) were free to select to train on a seated horizontal press (SHP, n = 113) or supine vertical press (SVP, n = 120) machine. Participants were measured for one-repetition maximum (1RM) bench press on their specific machine weight apparatus before and after 12 weeks of linear periodization. In addition, participants were also evaluated for 1RM on separate days for a free weight (FW) bench press before and after training. RT was performed 3 times/week in 3 sets of 6 overall body exercises using various machine weight exercises. RESULTS: Sex x training mode ANOVA on specific strength gain indicated no significant difference (p = 0.31) between men (10.9 ± 7.5 kg) and women (9.9 ± 631 kg), as well as no significant difference (p = 0.30) between SHP (9.9 ± 6.6 kg) and SVP (10.8 ± 7.1 kg). Sex x mode interaction was also not significant (p = 0.06). Sex x training mode ANOVA on general strength gain also produced no significant difference (p = 0.28) between men (4.4 ± 6.2 kg) and women (3.7 ± 4.0 kg) and no significant difference (p = 0.99) between SHP (4.0 ± 5.4 kg) and SVP (4.0 ± 54.9 kg). The interaction was also not significant (p = 0.67). Specific and general strength gains were significantly correlated in men on both SHP (r= -0.30) and SVP (r = -0.28) but not in women (SHP: r = 0.20; SVP: r = 0.07). CONCLUSION: When following the same RT program on different machine weight devices, men and women make similar gains in both specific and general upper-body strength. However, the carry-over value from machine weight RT to free weight performance is limited.

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