The influence of periodized resistance training on strength changes in men and women.J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Mar; 25(3):735-44.JS
The purpose of this study was to contrast the response of previously resistance-trained male and female recreational athletes with a traditionally periodized resistance training program. Sixty subjects (age = 22.8 ± 4.5 years) were assigned to 3 groups: male training (MT), n = 20; female training (FT), n = 20; and control, n = 20 (men, n = 10; women, n = 10). The MT and FT groups completed 12 weeks of traditional periodized strength training, with strength testing at baseline and at weeks 8 and 12. The training programs were identical (e.g., rest time, exercises, volume, and intensity) in both groups. In weeks 1 and 2, the FT and MT groups were trained 3 d·wk (324 repetitions [reps]·wk) and thereafter 4 d·wk (mean 642 reps·wk). The mean volume and intensity over the 12 weeks was 571 reps·wk and 69.7% of 1 repetition maximum. Results indicated that the men were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) stronger in absolute terms at baseline and at weeks 8 and 12. The FT group (increase = 26.2% at week 8 and 38.1% at week 12) made significantly (p ≤ 0.05) greater percent increases in strength than the MT group (increase = 17.7% at week 8 and 28.0% at week 12). The FT and MT groups made significant (p ≤ 0.05) changes in relative strength at all time points, but the MT group demonstrated greater relative strength on lateral pull-down and dumbbell shoulder press. In practical terms, the men were absolutely stronger than the women, but the women were more responsive to the periodized resistance training program. Twelve weeks of traditionally periodized resistance training induced meaningful strength gains in women (≥ 30%) and men (≥ 25%) with prior (approximately 11 months) nonperiodized resistance training experience.