The effects of manual resistance training on improving muscular strength and endurance

Sandor Dorgo, George A King, Christopher A Rice
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2009, 23 (1): 293-303
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a manual resistance training (MRT) program on muscular strength and endurance and to compare these effects with those of an identically structured weight resistance training (WRT) program. To do this, 84 healthy college students were randomly assigned to either an MRT (n = 53, mean +/- SD: age 25.6 +/- 6.0 years, height 170.1 +/- 8.1 cm, body mass 73.9 +/- 16.0 kg, and body fat 24.6 +/- 8.7%) or WRT (n = 31, mean +/- SD: age 25.5 +/- 5.2 years; height 169.6 +/- 10.1 cm, body mass 75.0 +/- 17.4 kg, and body fat 24.7 +/- 8.5%) group and engaged in a 14-week training program. Each participant's performance was assessed before and immediately after the 14-week training period. Muscular strength was assessed by the one-repetition maximum (1RM) bench press test and the 1RM squat test. Muscular endurance was recorded as the maximum number of repetitions performed with 70% of pretraining 1RM for the bench press and squat exercises. There were no significant differences between the MRT and WRT groups at baseline for muscular strength (p > 0.36) or muscular endurance (p > 0.46). Compared with baseline values, the 14-week training programs produced significant (p < 0.001) improvements in muscular strength and muscular endurance of the MRT and WRT groups. However, no significant difference was observed between the MRT and WRT groups for muscular strength (p > 0.22) or for muscular endurance (p > 0.09) after training. The improvements in muscular strength and muscular endurance after a 14-week MRT program in the present study were similar to those produced by a WRT program, and well-designed MRT exercises seem to be effective for improving muscular fitness.

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