A rationale and method for high-intensity progressive resistance training with children and adolescents

Amanda C. Benson, Margaret E. Torode, Maria A. Fiatorone Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Background: The rising prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents is implicated in the metabolic abnormalities that track into adulthood. The associated increased incidence of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes being identified in younger cohorts has given rise to a critical global health issue. Muscular strength is a vital component of metabolic fitness that provides protection from insulin resistance in adults, and we have recently shown this to be true in children as well. Targeting muscular strength deficiencies at an early age may be an effective preventative strategy for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Purpose: There is limited evidence-based best practice for progressive resistance training (PRT), adiposity and metabolic fitness in children and adolescents. The purpose of this paper is to describe the methodology we utilized for implementing a PRT program to avoid publication bias, enable replication of the study and share a novel program that we have found safe and suitable for use with youth. Methods: We conducted the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) prescribing high-intensity PRT to children and adolescents (10'15Â years) as a community-based primary prevention program to address adiposity and metabolic health. Participants were instructed to complete 2 sets of 8 repetitions of 11 exercises targeting all the major muscle groups twice a week at an RPE of 15'18 for 8Â weeks. Results: Primary outcome was waist circumference; secondary outcomes included insulin resistance, lipid levels, muscle strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, self-efficacy, self-concept, habitual physical activity, nutritional and sedentary behavior patterns. Conclusion: The supervised PRT program that we used with children and adolescents has been described in detail. The efficacy of this modality of exercise formetabolic fitness and other health outcomes is now under investigation. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]Copyright of Contemporary Clinical Trials is the property of Elsevier Science and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-450
Number of pages9
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


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