Aaron Calder

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Biodynamics


Digby Sale




Thirty women (20-22 y) were randomly assigned to 3 groups of 10: a total body (TB) and a split body (SB) training groups and control group. The SB group performed 4 strength training sessions per week (two upper and two lower body), while the TB group trained both upper and lower body muscle groups together, twice weekly. It took 45-60 minutes to complete training either the upper or lower body muscle groups. Training consisted of five sets of 6-12 repetition maximum (RM) per exercise for 20 weeks. In comparison to the control group, the trained groups decreased relative fat mass (dual-energy x-ray densitometry, -1. 2%, P < 0.006) and increased whole body (3.3%, P < 0.001) and combined arm lean mass (10.0%, P < 0.007) as well as 1 RM (P < 0.0005) arm curl (73%), bench press (28%) and leg press (22%) strength. In contrast, training caused no increase in electrically evoked twitch peak torque or motor unit aotivation (interpolated twitch method) for right knee extension or elbow flexion. Only elbow flexion increased in maximum voluntary isometric strength. Arms were more responsive to training than legs. There appeared to be a trend toward greater gains in strength and muscle size with TB training. However, these differences were not statistically significant. No advantage resulted when a total body strength training session of less than 2 hours was split into separate upper and lower body workouts. Key Words: weight training; training specific and non-specific strength; muscle hypertrophy

McMaster University Library

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