The effects of two specific exercise programs on the body composition of women

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1973

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This study was formulated to determine and compare the effects of two kinds of conditioning programs on various fat deposit sites and lean body mass measurements of women. The specific question analyzed in the investigation wasi What are the effects of a strength oriented exercise program in comparison to the effects of an endurance oriented exercise program on subcutaneous fat and lean body mass? A one-way classification multivariate analysis of variance was used separately to test the following research hypothesesi 1. An endurance oriented exercise program results in a greater subcutaneous fat loss than a strength oriented exercise program. 2. A strength oriented exercise program and an endurance oriented exercise program have equal effects on lean body mass. When a significant difference was found between the two mean vectors in the global test of significance, two additional multivariate techniques, discriminant analysis and step-down analysis, were used to identify the specific variables accounting for the greatest between group variance. The data for this study were collected from forty female volunteers between the age of seventeen and thirty-seven, inclusive. A randomization procedure was used to assign the subjects to one of the two experimental conditions, the strength exercise program or the endurance exercise program. The strength exercise program consisted of low repetition (5-10) weight training exercises and isometric exercises. The endurance exercise program consisted of high repetition (15-20) weight training exercises and cardiovascular exercises. The subjects participated in the exercise programs three times per week for seven weeks. Three measurements were made of each of the nine skinfold sites and eight girth sites at the end of the seven-week period. The nine skinfold sites used in this study were selected from the sixteen sites used in the pilot study concerning the construct validity of subcutaneous fat. The skinfold sites selected for the study werei biceps, triceps, forearm, scapula, fifth rib, waist, abdomen, inner thigh and knee? the girth sites werei bicep flexed, bicep relaxed, forearm, fifth rib, waist, abdomen, thigh and knee. At the end of the seven-week period, a Lange skinfold caliper was used to make the three measurements at each of the nine skinfold sites, and cloth tape was used to make three measurements at each of the eight girth sites. All reliability coefficients for these seventeen sites were 0.98 or above. The mean of the three measurements was used as the representative value for each site. The mean scores for each of the skinfold sites were used as valid representative values of subcutaneous fat. The mean scores for each of the girth sites and all of the nine skinfold sites were used in separate stepwise multiple regression analysis models to estimate lean body mass, the residualized girth measurement with subcutaneous fat held constant. The analysis of the data revealed the following findings. 1. There was no significant difference in age, height and weight between the strength and endurance groups. 2. The two mean vectors, the strength group and the endurance group, revealed a significant difference in subcutaneous fat deposits. 3. The strength group when compared to the endurance group had a significantly smaller fat deposit at the forearm site. The endurance group when compared to the strength group had a significantly smaller fat deposit at the thigh site. 5. The forearm and thigh sites were also the two variables which accounted for the greatest between group variance in subcutaneous fat along the discriminant function. 6. The step-down F-ratios revealed no significant difference in subcutaneous fat between the groups at the bicep, tricep, fifth rib, waist, scapula, abdomen and knee sites. 7. The univariate F-ratios between the two groups at each of the nine skinfold sites were nonsignificant. 8. The two mean vectors, the strength group and the endurance group, revealed a nonsignificant difference in lean body mass. Based on these findings, the following conclusions were drawn: 1. A strength exercise program and an endurance exercise program have different effects on subcutaneous fat in women. In comparison, an endurance exercise program results in less subcutaneous fat at the inner thigh, and a strength exercise program results in less subcutaneous fat at the forearm site. 2. A strength exercise program and an endurance exercise program have equal effects on lean body mass in women. 3. When compared to the univariate analysis of variance, the multivariate analysis of variance is a more appropriate tool for analyzing subcutaneous fat at various sites on the body.

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