BACKGROUND: The purpose of this investigation was to examine changes in fat mass and fat free mass following four and eight weeks of high- and low-volume, structured resistance training. METHODS: Twenty-six resistance-trained males (n=14) and females (n=12) participated in supervised, structured resistance training three times weekly for eight weeks. Participants were randomly allocated to either a high- (HV; M/F=7/7) or low-volume (LV; M/F=7/5) training group completing four (LV) or eight (HV) sets per exercise each week of the following exercises: bench press, overhead press, lat pulldown, horizontal row, leg press, and Romanian deadlift. The final set of each exercise was completed to failure. Participants’ fat mass (FM) and fat free mass (FFM) were recorded via dual x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) prior to (PRE), at the midpoint of (MID), and following (POST) the eight weeks of training. All testing was completed following an eight hour fast and at least 48 hours after exercise. Separate 2 (group) × 3 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs were used to examine FM and FFM. Post-hoc corrected t-tests were conducted to examine significant effects, and the alpha level was set a-priori at 0.05. RESULTS: There were no significant interaction (p=0.189) or main effects (p=0.473-0.776) for FM. There was no significant interaction effect for FFM (p=0.294); however, there was a significant effect for time (p=0.012). Post-hoc analyses indicated that, when collapsed across group, FFM was greater at both MID (p=0.003; 53.39 ± 14.24 kg) and POST (p=0.022; 53.42 ± 14.02 kg) when compared to PRE (52.68 ± 14.02 kg). There was no significant difference between MID and POST (p=0.915). Additionally, there was no significant effect for group (p=0.372). CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that, regardless of training volume, participants increased FFM and experienced no changes in FM following eight weeks of structured, progressive resistance training. Additionally, the present data suggest that this increase in FFM occurred primarily in the first four weeks of training, independent of group. Due to the similarity of FFM changes between groups, these data suggest that even a minimal dose of resistance training three times weekly can effectively increase FFM in a similar time-course to higher volume resistance training in trained males and females.

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