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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Hubal 2005.

Genetic differences may account for a wide range of strength training results

updated
Hubal MJ, Gordish-Dressman H, Thompson PD, Price TB, Hoffman EP, Angelopoulos TJ, Gordon PM, Moyna NM, Pescatello LS, Visich PS, Zoeller RF, Seip RL, Clarkson PM. Variability in muscle size and strength gain after unilateral resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Jun;37(6):964–972. PubMed #15947721.
Tags: exercise, self-treatment, treatment

PainSci summary of Hubal 2005?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This 2005 paper presents good evidence that there may be genetic differences between people that account for a surprisingly wide range of responses to strength training. In a fascinating radio interview about the paper (see Exorcizing Myths about Exercise), co-author Dr. Eric Hoffman says, “If we take two friends and enter them into a resistance training program, you could find that the one friend would trip all their muscle strength, whereas we have cases in the study of the other friend who either gains no strength, and we have some subjects that even lose a little strength.”

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract

PURPOSE: This study assessed variability in muscle size and strength changes in a large cohort of men and women after a unilateral resistance training program in the elbow flexors. A secondary purpose was to assess sex differences in size and strength changes after training.

METHODS: Five hundred eighty-five subjects (342 women, 243 men) were tested at one of eight study centers. Isometric (MVC) and dynamic strength (one-repetition maximum (1RM)) of the elbow flexor muscles of each arm and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the biceps brachii (to determine cross-sectional area (CSA)) were assessed before and after 12 wk of progressive dynamic resistance training of the nondominant arm.

RESULTS: Size changes ranged from -2 to +59% (-0.4 to +13.6 cm), 1RM strength gains ranged from 0 to +250% (0 to +10.2 kg), and MVC changes ranged from -32 to +149% (-15.9 to +52.6 kg). Coefficients of variation were 0.48 and 0.51 for changes in CSA (P = 0.44), 1.07 and 0.89 for changes in MVC (P < 0.01), and 0.55 and 0.59 for changes in CSA (P < 0.01) in men and women, respectively. Men experienced 2.5% greater gains for CSA (P < 0.01) compared with women. Despite greater absolute gains in men, relative increases in strength measures were greater in women versus men (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Men and women exhibit wide ranges of response to resistance training, with some subjects showing little to no gain, and others showing profound changes, increasing size by over 10 cm and doubling their strength. Men had only a slight advantage in relative size gains compared with women, whereas women outpaced men considerably in relative gains in strength.

related content

These three articles on PainScience.com cite Hubal 2005 as a source:


This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog.