Optimal Exercise Plan for Women?

by Ryan Halvorson on Apr 24, 2013

Making News

There are many different exercise protocols out there. When it comes to mature women, is there a best plan? New research suggests there is.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham wanted to understand the impact of three different training frequencies on older women. They also aimed to learn whether different frequencies would affect total energy expenditure (TEE) and activity-related energy expenditure (AEE). They recruited 72 women, aged 60–74, and organized them into three categories: 1 day per week of cardiovascular training and 1 day per week of strength training (1+1); 2 days per week of cardio and 2 of strength (2+2); and 3 days per week of each (3+3). The cardiovascular training consisted of 40 minutes of exercise at 80% of maximum heart rate, while the strength component comprised 2 sets of 10 repetitions for 10 exercises at 80% of 1-repetition maximum.

Data measures included body composition; self-reported feelings of fatigue, depression and vigor; strength; maximal oxygen uptake; and resting and total energy expenditure. The intervention lasted 16 weeks.

By study end, all women had increased their fat-free mass, strength and cardiovascular fitness, and all had reduced their fat mass. There were no changes in fatigue or depression. However, there were disparities in total and activity-related energy expenditures among the groups.

“TEE and AEE increased with the 2+2 group but not with the other two groups,” the authors noted. “Non­- exercise training AEE (nonexercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT) increased significantly in the 2+2 group (+200 kilocalories/day), group 1+1 showed a trend for an increase (+68 kcal/day) and group 3+3 decreased significantly (-150 kcal/day).

“Results indicate that 3+3 training may inhibit NEAT by being too time-consuming and does not induce superior training adaptations to 1+1 and 2+2 training.”

The study appeared in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2013; Jan. 30 [epub ahead of print]).

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 10, Issue 5

© 2013 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is the associate editor for IDEA Health & Fitness Association; a Performance Specialist at Bird Rock Fit in La Jolla, CA; a Master Instructor for Metabolic Effect and the creator of www...


Trending Articles

How to Teach HIIT to Everyone

High-intensity interval training has been riding a wave of popularity, and it seems everyone wants to give it a try. However, intense interval training is nothing new. Group fitness instructors have b...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

Low Intensity vs. High Intensity: Which Is Best for Obese Adults?

The debate continues regarding the most effective exercise measures for reducing abdominal obesity and improving glucose measures.

Recipe for Health: Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers

If you don’t believe that authentic Mexican cookery is “whole” and healthy, you need to take a deep dive into Mexico: The Cookbook (Phaidon 2014), the first truly comprehensive bible...

Show More