Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Skip to main content

A new study finds men and women have similar upper body strength response to Resistance Training

11th April 2016
Sport and fitnessResearch
Men and women have similar upper body strength response to Resistance Training (RT) and there is no need for sex specific interventions, suggests a new study by researchers from Southampton Solent University and the Universities of Goias, Brasilia and Padova.

The new study, published in Peer J, investigated whether men and women differ in their strength gains after resistance training by comparing elbow flexor strength gains in both sexes after 10 weeks of RT.


“Resistance training offers real health and disease prevention benefits to both men and women,” says James Steele, study author, and Research and Innovation Fellow at Southampton Solent University, “however, previous studies surrounding the differences between men and women in response to an RT program are not conclusive and there is little data on males and females performing training programs similar to what would be done in a real gym.”

The study compared elbow flexor strength gains in men and women after 10 weeks of RT.  A total of 90 college-aged participants performed an identical RT two days a week for 10 weeks. Before and after the training period, peak torque (PT) of the elbow flexors was measured with an isokinetic dynamometer.

Although initial results showed that PT values were higher in men in comparison to women in pre- and post-tests, but both males and females significantly increased elbow flexor and strength changes did not differ between genders after 10 weeks of the RT program.

James Steele, Research Fellow at Southampton Solent University

“Although weights are still more popular with men, results from this study suggest that, despite the physiological and hormonal differences between sexes, women benefit from the same relative strength gains from an RT program as that of men,” Says James.

The authors of the study were James Steele from Southampton Solent University; Paulo Gentil from University of Goias; Antonio Paoli from University of Padova; and Maria Pereira, Rafael Castanheira and Martim Bottaro from University of Brasilia.

The full paper can be viewed on PeerJ.