Effects of low-intensity resistance exercise with short interset rest period on muscular function in middle-aged women

J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Feb;16(1):123-8.


We investigated the effect of low-intensity resistance exercise training on muscular size and strength where the interset rest period was shortened so as to reduce the metabolite clearance. Female subjects (aged 45.4 +/- 9.5 years, n = 10) performed bilateral knee extension exercises in a seated position on an isotonic leg extension machine. The exercise sessions consisted of 3 sets of exercise at a mean intensity of approximately 50% 1RM with an interset rest period of 30 seconds and was performed twice a week for a period of 12 weeks. The strength and the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the knee extensors and flexors were examined with an isokinetic dynamometer and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), respectively. The CSAs of the knee extensors and flexors increased by 7.1 +/- 1.6% (p < 0.01, Wilcoxon signed rank test) and 2.5 +/- 1.4% (not significant), respectively. Isometric and isokinetic strengths increased significantly (p < 0.01) at all velocities examined, whereas no significant change was observed in those of knee flexors. These results indicate that a low-intensity resistance exercise with a short interset rest period is substantially effective in inducing muscular hypertrophy and concomitant increase in strength.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Adult
  • Anatomy, Cross-Sectional
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Knee / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Thigh / anatomy & histology
  • Time
  • Torque