Observations of Performance and Body Composition Following 8-weeks of Progressive Resistance Training in Participants With Cerebral Palsy
- Cerebral palsy; exercise; Hypertrophy; Strength training
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Purpose: To observe the effects of progressive resistance training on performance and body composition in participants with cerebral palsy.
Methods: Four quadriplegic (3 male, 1 female) and two hemiplegic (2 female) participants (22 ± 5 yr, mean ± SD) completed moderate to high intensity resistance training 2-3 days a week for 8-weeks. Strength training programs were developed for each participant based on their physical ability. Measurements of exercise performance and body composition (InBody 270 & S10) were collected prior to and following training. Data from all participants was pooled, and samples with 5-6 subjects were analyzed using a paired t-test with significance set at p < 0.05.
Results: Measurements of muscular fitness improved, including plank performance (pre: 64 ± 40, post: 95 ± 61 s, n = 6), supine sled leg press 1RM (pre: 225 ± 69, post: 378 ± 124 lb, n = 6) and bench/sled press 1RM (pre: 92 ± 54, post: 115 ± 58 lb, n = 5). There was no change in peak sprint capacity (pre: 89 ± 32, post: 96 ± 29 W, n = 5) or peak aerobic capacity (pre: 303 ± 136, post: 370 ± 246 s, n = 4). Measurements of body weight (pre: 151 ± 40, post: 151 ± 42 lb, n = 6) and skeletal muscle mass (pre: 53 ± 8, post: 54 ± 9 lb, n = 6) were unchanged following training.
Conclusion: Preliminary data is encouraging that the unique and challenging strength training program employed with these participants can be utilized to gain meaningful improvements in muscular fitness. However, a larger sample size and longer training period may be necessary to significantly increase muscle mass.
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