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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2014 April;54(2):147-53

language: English

Effects of a 10-week conventional strength training program on lower leg muscle performance in adolescent boys compared to adults

Pesta D. 1, 2, Thaler A. 2, Hoppel F. 2, Macek C. 2, Schocke M. 1, Burtscher M. 2

1 Department of Radiology Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria;
2 Department of Sport Science, Medical Section University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria


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Aim: The use of resistance training by adolescents has been an area of controversy. The aim of the present work was therefore to evaluate the degree of strength trainability in adolescents compared to adults.
Methods: Thirteen healthy male adolescents (AL) and eight adults (AD) volunteered to participate in a 10-week training program. Subjects performed supervised exercises for the legs, calf raise, leg curl and leg extension three times a week. Maximal strength, explosive power and anaerobic power were assessed prior and after the 10-week training program.
Results: Significant interaction effects (time * age group) were found only for explosive strength as improvements of squat jump and counter movement jump performance (P<0.05) in favor of the AL group. No between-group changes were found for maximal strength and anaerobic power. However, significant time effects were observed for these parameters within both groups.
Conclusion: Taken together, adolescents show distinct muscular adaptations by a higher gain in explosive power in response to resistance training when compared to adults. This might be related to peak height velocity (PHV) which is a “sensitive” period of trainability and accelerated adaptation to resistance training in adolescents.

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dominik.pesta@yale.edu