The aim of this study was to examine the associations between objectively assessed physical activity (PA) and muscular fitness (MF) in adolescents, and to determine whether only resistance training exercise is associated with the increase of MF. A sample of 211 Spanish adolescents (105 girls) wore the ActiGraph monitor for 7 days. Participants also completed a fitness evaluation including three MF tests (handgrip strength, a 60-s abdominal test and a standing broad jump), a cardiorespiratory fitness assessment and anthropometric measures. A standardized MF score was computed using the three muscular tests. Adolescent participation in resistance training was self-reported. Linear regression showed that only vigorous PA was significantly (P=0.041) and positively (β=0.133) associated with MF after adjustment by gender, age, pubertal status, BMI, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Significant differences in MF were found between youth in the lowest and upper tertiles of vigorous PA. Moreover, adolescents who were involved in resistance training had significantly higher MF scores compared with youth in low and medium tertiles of vigorous PA, but no significant differences were found when compared with non-lifters from the highest tertile of vigorous PA (P=0.356). These findings suggest that vigorous activity may be associated with indicators of MF in adolescents.
© 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.