Fitness changes of naval women following aerobic based programs featuring calisthenic or circuit weight training exercises


Two research investigations were undertaken to determine the effects of experimental aerobic/circuit weight training (A/CWT) and standard Navy aerobic/calisthenic (A/CAL) training on fitness parameters.

Study I Subjects were 22 female officer and enlisted personnel aged 24 to 34 years (mean=28.2). The women followed a 10-week A/ CWT program working at an intensity of 60% of determined one repetition maximum (1RM). These women showed significant (p<0.05) improvements in dynamic muscular strength, muscular endurance, and stamina. Only upper torso static strength was unaffected by training.

Study IIParticipants were 115 female recruits aged 17 to 34 years (mean=20.4). They were randomly assigned to one of three training groups: 1) aerobic/calisthenic training (A/CAL) (N=58); 2) aerobic/circuit weight training at 40% (A/CWT-40) of maximum strength determined for a single repetition (1RM) of the lifting exercises (N=26); and 3) aerobic/circuit weight training at 70% (A/CWT-70) of determined 1RM (N=30).

Results showed that standard recruit A/CAL training did not significantly (p<0.05) enhance upper torso dynamic strength (except the lat-pull-down test) or stamina. A/CWT-70 elicited significantly (p<0.05) higher gains in several tests of upper torso strength than A/CAL or A/CWT-40. These results suggest that A/CWT offers a way to develop the required upper torso strength of Navy women.

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Correspondence to E. J. Marcinik.

Additional information

This research was supported by the Naval Medical Research and Development Command, Department of the Navy, under research work unit M0096-PN.001-1044. The views presented in this paper are those of the authors. No endorsement by the Department of the Navy has been given or should be inferred

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Marcinik, E.J., Hodgdon, J.A., O'Brien, J.J. et al. Fitness changes of naval women following aerobic based programs featuring calisthenic or circuit weight training exercises. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 54, 244–249 (1985).

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Key words

  • Physical fitness
  • Muscular strength
  • Job performance