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Article Title

CHANGES TO OVERALL FITNESS IN RESPONSE TO VARYING RATIOS OF CARDIOVASCULAR AND RESISTANCE TRAINING

Abstract

J. Gruber, M. DeVogelaere, K. Flann

University of Portland, Portland, OR

Obesity prevalence is high among young adults (18 – 29yrs) and is further elevated among those reporting some college education. PURPOSE: To determine the effect of varying ratios of resistance and cardiovascular training on aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and anthropometric measurements in college students. METHODS: For six weeks, participants were allocated to one of two training groups: cardiovascular (CT) (n = 6) or mixed (MT) (n = 7). CT subjects were instructed to perform cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes, 3x per week, for six weeks. MT subjects were instructed to perform 15 minutes of resistance training with 15 minutes of cardiovascular training at an equivalent frequency. Prior physical activity, exertion, and favored exercise modality was measured at the outset of the study and a variety of health-related behaviors were assessed weekly for six weeks. Exercise intensity was standardized by heart rate. Aerobic capacity was assessed at week 0, 2, 4, and 6 by metabolic cart. Muscular strength was measured as bicep, tricep, and leg extension maximum-length holds, performed biweekly. Bodyweight and bodyfat was measured biweekly. RESULTS: CT subjects exhibited a significant decrease in aerobic capacity over the 6-week period compared to individuals in the MT group (-7.59±8.34% vs. 3.70±5.26%, respectively, p=0.014). Bicep strength in both groups saw no significant change over the 6-week period (5.1±28.1% and 32.1±93.1%, respectively, p>0.05), as did tricep strength (-10.4±27.3% and 48.4±80.2%, respectively, p>0.05). Leg strength saw a significant increase in the CT group (120±40%, p=0.002) but not in the MT group (110±179%, p>0.05). Bodyweight change was insignificant in both groups (3.42±8.68lbs and -2.4±3.42lbs, respectively, p>0.05), but bodyfat decreased significantly in the MT group (-14.6±11.5%, p=0.01) while remaining unchanged in CT participants (2.1±9.0%, p>0.05). Noncompliance to protocols was due to a lack of time in 70% of cases. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that 30min of cardiovascular exercise performed 3x per week may be insufficient to maintain fitness in students. Additional resistance training may be a useful strategy to attenuate physical decline and improve body composition. Insufficient time should be addressed as a significant barrier to exercise in students.

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