New findings: What is the central question of this study? How do free weight resistance training (RT) and body mass-based RT for 8 weeks compare for isometric muscular strength, muscle size and intramuscular fat (IMF) content in the quadriceps femoris? What is the main finding and its importance? Free weight and body mass-based RTs could induce muscle hypertrophy; however, decreased IMF content was observed following the body mass-based RT alone.
Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of free weight and body mass-based resistance training (RT) on muscle size and thigh intramuscular fat (IMF) in young and middle-aged individuals. Healthy individuals (aged 30-64 years) were assigned to either a free weight RT group (n = 21) or a body mass-based RT group (n = 16). Both groups performed whole-body resistance exercise twice a week for 8 weeks. Free weight resistance exercises (squats, bench press, deadlift, dumbbell rows and back range) involved 70% one repetition maximum, with three sets of 8-12 repetitions per exercise. The nine body mass-based resistance exercises (leg raise, squats, rear raise, overhead shoulder mobility exercise, rowing, dips, lunge, single-leg Romanian deadlifts and push-ups) included the maximum possible repetitions per session, which were performed in one or two sets. Mid-thigh magnetic resonance images using the two-point Dixon method were taken pre- and post-training. The muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and IMF content in the quadriceps femoris were measured from the images. Both the groups showed significantly increased muscle CSA post-training (free weight RT group, P = 0.001; body mass-based RT group, P = 0.002). IMF content in the body mass-based RT group significantly decreased (P = 0.036) but did not significantly change in the free weight RT group (P = 0.076). These results suggest that the free weight and body mass-based RTs could induce muscle hypertrophy; however, in healthy young and middle-aged individuals, decreased IMF content was induced following the body mass-based RT alone.
Keywords: adipose tissue; hypertrophy; magnetic resonance imaging; strength training.
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