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Optimizing resistance training for body recomposition in postmenopausal women

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Abstract

We investigated the effectiveness of a resistance training (RT) protocol with lower volume and lower load in the body recomposition of postmenopausal women, and to determine whether changes in body recomposition induced by RT would be associated with changes in physical performance, independently of confounding factors. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: I) Single set-high load (SSHL, n = 14, 1 set of 8 to 12 maximum repetitions), II) Single set-low load (SSLL, n = 15, 1 set of 25 to 30 maximum repetitions), and III) Multiple sets-high load (MSHL, n = 14, 3–6 sets of 8 to 12 maximum repetitions). The study extended over a duration of 27 weeks, encompassing 24 weeks of RT. We assessed body composition using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, physical performance using the Timed Up and Go and sit and stand tests, and muscle strength using the one-repetition maximum (1RM) test. We quantified body recomposition using a composite z score calculated as follows: (appendicular lean mass % delta z score) + (− 1 × fat mass delta % z score) / 2. Results showed significant improvements in physical performance (P < 0.001), significant reductions in visceral adipose tissue, total fat mass, and % fat (P = 0.003, P = 0.042, and P < 0.001, respectively), and increases in muscle mass and strength (P < 0.001), regardless of group assignment. Notably, the higher load groups (SSHL and MSHL) had significantly greater body recomposition compared to the lower load group (SSLL), particularly after adjusting for age, physical activity, and sitting time (P = 0.028). Therefore, the higher load of RT is a critical factor in the body recomposition of postmenopausal women. Furthermore, the positive effects of body recomposition induced by RT extend to physical performance and muscle strength.

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Acknowledgements

The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), The Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and The Minas Gerais Support and Research Foundation (FAPEMIG).

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Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work: S.J.L.J; O.F.L; M.L.R; S.R.L; S.W.G; A.C.L; and S.M.V.C; Drafting the work or reviewing it critically for important intellectual content: S.J.L.J; O.F.L; M.L.R; S.R.L; S.W.G; A.C.L; and S.M.V.C.; Final approval of the version to be published: S.J.L.J; O.F.L; M.L.R; S.R.L; S.W.G; A.C.L; and S.M.V.C; Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved: S.J.L.J; O.F.L; M.L.R; S.R.L; S.W.G; A.C.L; and S.M.V.C. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Markus Vinicius Campos Souza.

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This study has been approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Triângulo Mineiro (UFTM). The Approval Number is 5.654.381, and the CAAE registration number is 14551619.3.0000.5154.

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da Silva, J.L.J., Orsatti, F.L., Margato, L.R. et al. Optimizing resistance training for body recomposition in postmenopausal women. Sport Sci Health (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11332-024-01192-x

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