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Comparison of changes in lean body mass with a strength- versus muscle endurance-based resistance training program



The aim of this study was to compare the effects of resistance training (RT) with an emphasis on either muscular strength-type RT or muscular endurance-type RT on measures of body composition.


Twenty-five resistance-trained men (age 28.4 ± 6.4 years; body mass 75.9 ± 8.4 kg; height 176.9 ± 7.5 cm) were randomly assigned to either a strength-type RT group that performed three sets of 6–8 repetition maximum (RM) with 3-min rest (n = 10), an endurance-type RT group that performed three sets of 20–25 RM with a 60-s rest interval (n = 10), or a control group (n = 5, CG). All groups completed each set until muscular failure and were supervised to follow a hyperenergetic diet (39 kcal·kg−1·day−1). Body composition changes were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.


After 8 weeks, we found significant increases in total body mass (0.9 [0.3–1.5] kg; p < 0.05; ES = < 0.2) and lean body mass (LBM) (1.3 [0.5–2.2] kg; p < 0.05; ES = 0.31) only in the strength-type RT group; however, no significant interactions were noted between groups.


Although only strength-type RT showed statistically significant increases in LBM from baseline, no between-group differences were noted for any body composition outcome. These findings suggest that LBM gains in resistance trained are not significantly influenced by the type of training stimulus over an 8-week training period.

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Fig. 1



Resistance training


Lean body mass


Control group


Body mass


Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry


Standard deviation


General linear model


Fat mass


Repetition maximum


Magnetic resonance imaging


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Supported by University of Málaga (Campus of International Excellence Andalucía Tech).

Author information

SV served as study manager. SV conceived and designed the experiments. RR and JBP served as lab coordinator and project manager for study coordination, respectively. SV and RR assisted in data collection. SV and MF designed the nutritional protocols. SV oversaw nutrition and training. JLP analyzed the data. SV, BJS, JLP, RK, JBP, RR and DAB assisted in analysis and manuscript review. SV, JLP, and BJS wrote the paper. JBP, JLP, DAB, BJS, and RK assisted in the statistics advice, discussion analysis, and manuscript preparation. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Correspondence to Salvador Vargas or Javier Benítez-Porres.

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Communicated by Toshio Moritani.

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Vargas, S., Petro, J.L., Romance, R. et al. Comparison of changes in lean body mass with a strength- versus muscle endurance-based resistance training program. Eur J Appl Physiol 119, 933–940 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-019-04082-0

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  • Body composition
  • Exercise
  • Physiology
  • Fitness
  • Training