2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Human Potential and Performance

Comparison of Strength Gains Between Free Weights and Machine Weights in High-Strength College Women
Vicky E. Groner* and Kristen J. Cummins
Dr. Jerry Mayhew and Prof. Melody Jennings, Faculty Mentors

We sought to compare specific changes in strength associated with free weight and machine weight resistance training. High-strength women (free-weight bench press >85 lbs, n = 202) volunteered and chose to train with free weights (FW, n = 73), a supine bench press machine (SBP, n = 65), or a seated bench press (HBP, n = 64). Each participant completed 1-RM test with both FW and their specific training device before and after training for 12 weeks. Improvement in FW bench press was not significantly different between the SBP (8%) and HBP (11%) groups nor between the HBP (11%) and FW (13%) groups. All three groups were significantly different in specific device strength gain (FW – 13%, SBP – 19%, and HBP – 36%). While all groups made gains in strength, these results more strongly re-enforce the specific principal whereby strength gains were better when tested on the training device.

Keywords: Free weights, Machine weights, Muscle Strength, Training Specificity

Topic(s):Exercise Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 2-15
Location: OP Lobby
Time: 4:15 pm

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