Newswise — A new study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that adults who are overweight and obese experience a lowered response to resistance training when compared to normal weight adults. If this finding is confirmed in future studies, it will highlight the importance of prevention of obesity in adolescents and young adults.

The study compared the response to a supervised upper arm, unilateral resistance training program in healthy, young adults who are overweight or obese to the response of normal weight adults. The study determined that peak muscle strength gains in people who are overweight and obese are significantly weakened when compared to that of normal weight people; therefore, resistance training programs for adults who are overweight or obese need to be altered to counteract the response rate.

The results of this study are different than the conclusions previously reached by studies on resistance training response among adults who are overweight and obese compared to normal weight adults. However, the study is in agreement with reports that excess body mass reduces aerobic capacity and impairs the ability to perform daily living activities. Other possible explanations for this lessened response to weight training in overweight adults are listed in the second paragraph of the study’s introduction, which is available in free PDF format here:

Overweight and obese gain less strength from resistance training.

The study authors did note that people who are overweight and obese do experience numerous health benefits, such as increased grip strength and repetition maximums, from exercise training programs even in the absence of significant weight loss or improvements in cardiopulmonary physical fitness.