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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Research: Sex equality

Resistance training is just as beneficial for women over the age of 50 as it is for men, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 1
The findings could have significant implications for the way fitness instructors and personal trainers work with female clients over the age of 50 / Photo: Leszek Glasner/shutterstock
The findings could have significant implications for the way fitness instructors and personal trainers work with female clients over the age of 50 / Photo: Leszek Glasner/shutterstock
It’s important for fitness instructors and personal trainers to understand that older women benefit just as much as men from resistance training, in terms of relative improvement, compared to their baseline

Research from the University of New South Wales, Sex differences in adaptations in muscle strength and size following resistance training in older adults – published in Sports Medicine – shows that when undertaking resistance training, both sexes benefit when over the age of 50.

Although men over 50 are likely to gain more absolute muscle size, the gains relative to body size are on a par with women.

For the study, researchers compared muscle mass and strength gains in 651 older men and 759 older women, across 30 different resistance training studies.

The participants were aged between 50 and 90, with most having no prior resistance training experience.

“Historically, people have tended to believe that men adapted to a greater degree from resistance training when compared to women,” said Dr Mandy Hagstrom, senior author of the study. “However, we found no sex differences in changes in relative muscle size or upper body strength.

“The differences we did find, primarily relate to how we look at the data – that is, absolutely or relatively.

“‘Absolute’ looks at the overall gains, while ‘relative’ is a percentage based on their body size.”

Hagstrom adds that the findings could have significant implications for the way fitness instructors and personal trainers work with female clients over the age of 50.

“It’s important for trainers to understand that women benefit just as much as men in terms of relative improvement compared to their baseline,” Hagstrom said.

“Older men tended to build bigger muscles when looking at absolute gains and were also more likely to see greater absolute improvements to upper and lower body strength, however, when it came to comparing relative lower body strength, older women saw the biggest increases.

“Our study sheds light on the possibility that we should be programming differently for older men and women to maximise their training benefits.”

The team also conducted a sub-analysis of the literature to see which resistance training techniques gave the best results for each sex.

“Older men might benefit from higher intensity programmes to improve their absolute upper and lower body strength,” says Dr Hagstrom.

“But older women might benefit from higher overall exercise volumes – that is, more weekly repetitions – to increase their relative and absolute lower body strength.”

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/272473_738150.jpg
Researchers have found that women over 50 gain the same benefits from strength training as men of the same age
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features

Research: Sex equality

Resistance training is just as beneficial for women over the age of 50 as it is for men, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 1
The findings could have significant implications for the way fitness instructors and personal trainers work with female clients over the age of 50 / Photo: Leszek Glasner/shutterstock
The findings could have significant implications for the way fitness instructors and personal trainers work with female clients over the age of 50 / Photo: Leszek Glasner/shutterstock
It’s important for fitness instructors and personal trainers to understand that older women benefit just as much as men from resistance training, in terms of relative improvement, compared to their baseline

Research from the University of New South Wales, Sex differences in adaptations in muscle strength and size following resistance training in older adults – published in Sports Medicine – shows that when undertaking resistance training, both sexes benefit when over the age of 50.

Although men over 50 are likely to gain more absolute muscle size, the gains relative to body size are on a par with women.

For the study, researchers compared muscle mass and strength gains in 651 older men and 759 older women, across 30 different resistance training studies.

The participants were aged between 50 and 90, with most having no prior resistance training experience.

“Historically, people have tended to believe that men adapted to a greater degree from resistance training when compared to women,” said Dr Mandy Hagstrom, senior author of the study. “However, we found no sex differences in changes in relative muscle size or upper body strength.

“The differences we did find, primarily relate to how we look at the data – that is, absolutely or relatively.

“‘Absolute’ looks at the overall gains, while ‘relative’ is a percentage based on their body size.”

Hagstrom adds that the findings could have significant implications for the way fitness instructors and personal trainers work with female clients over the age of 50.

“It’s important for trainers to understand that women benefit just as much as men in terms of relative improvement compared to their baseline,” Hagstrom said.

“Older men tended to build bigger muscles when looking at absolute gains and were also more likely to see greater absolute improvements to upper and lower body strength, however, when it came to comparing relative lower body strength, older women saw the biggest increases.

“Our study sheds light on the possibility that we should be programming differently for older men and women to maximise their training benefits.”

The team also conducted a sub-analysis of the literature to see which resistance training techniques gave the best results for each sex.

“Older men might benefit from higher intensity programmes to improve their absolute upper and lower body strength,” says Dr Hagstrom.

“But older women might benefit from higher overall exercise volumes – that is, more weekly repetitions – to increase their relative and absolute lower body strength.”

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/272473_738150.jpg
Researchers have found that women over 50 gain the same benefits from strength training as men of the same age
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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