Effects of Circuit Resistance Training on Body Composition, Strength, and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Middle-Aged and Older Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Aging Phys Act. 2021 Oct 9;30(4):725-738. doi: 10.1123/japa.2021-0204. Print 2022 Aug 1.


A systematic review with meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the effects of circuit resistance training (CRT) on cardiorespiratory fitness, strength, and body composition in middle-aged and older women. Sixteen studies were included in the meta-analysis. The CRT interventions led to a significant decrease in weight, body mass index, and fat mass along with an increase in muscle mass. Significant differences were found in the fat mass and a trend to develop muscle mass when compared with the control group. CRT led to a significant increase in VO2max, walking endurance, and time to exhaustion; likewise, significant differences were observed when compared with the control group. CRT had a moderate and large favorable effect on arm, trunk, and lower limb strength. Furthermore, the increases in strength observed in the CRT were significantly greater than the changes observed in the control group. In middle-aged and older women, CRT improved cardiorespiratory fitness and strength and optimized body composition.

Keywords: fat mass; maximum oxygen uptake; muscle mass; postmenopause.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness* / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Resistance Training*