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Impact of Oral Contraceptives on Resistance Training

Some women show more gains in fat-free mass.

Women and weight training

Young women who take second-generation oral contraceptives (OC) may want to pay attention to differences in weight training adaptations.

Danish researchers from Aarhus University studied the influence of OC on muscle adaptations to resistance training in young, untrained women. The investigators assigned 38 women to either an OC user group or a no-OC group for a 10-week, supervised progressive resistance training program.

Data analysis revealed that women in both groups showed the same improvements in muscle strength and functional power. An unexpected result was that the women taking oral contraceptives showed higher gains in fat-free mass.

The study appeared in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2020; doi:10.1519/JSC.00000000 00003735).

See also: Women and Weight Training

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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