Effects of heavy-resistance triceps surae muscle training on strength and muscularity of men and women

Phys Ther. 1988 Feb;68(2):208-13. doi: 10.1093/ptj/68.2.208.


The purpose of this study was to determine selected functional and structural effects of heavy-resistance training on the triceps surae muscles of men and women. We pretested 28 men and 28 women for triceps surae muscle isotonic strength and muscularity after five practice sessions that familiarized them with the study equipment. Triceps surae muscle isotonic strength was determined using a 1-repetition maximum seated heel raise. Muscularity involved the measurement of relaxed lower leg circumference and net circumference and ultrasonically determined triceps surae muscle thickness. Twenty-eight subjects (14 men, 14 women) were selected randomly after pretesting to participate in 24 sessions of standardized weight training primarily involving the triceps surae muscles, and the remaining subjects (14 men, 14 women) served as nontraining controls. After eight weeks of training, triceps surae muscle isotonic strength had increased significantly (p less than .001) for both men and women in the Treatment Group when compared with the Control Group. No other dependent variables changed significantly. We concluded that eight weeks of heavy-resistance training involving the triceps surae muscles elicits similar significant increases in isotonic muscle strength in both men and women without concurrent increases in muscularity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / therapy*
  • Isotonic Contraction
  • Leg / pathology
  • Male
  • Muscles
  • Physical Exertion*