The study that was conducted by Rosa Maria Soares Costa de Mendonça, Adenilson Targino de Araújo Júnior from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro in Portugal, Maria do Socorro Cirilo de Sousa from the Federal Institute of Technology Education in Brazil and Helder Miguel Fernandes from the Research Centre for Sport in Portugal was designed to investigate the possible effects of 16 weeks of practicing different physical exercise programmes (strength training, dance or hydrogymnastics) on the body composition and anthropometric dimensions of adult women.
The sample was comprised of 89 adult women aged 25–55 (41.42 ± 9.23 years), who were used to train at least three times a week and had no history of health issues that may compromise their ability to participate in the study. . Of these, 60% were married, 27% single and 12% divorced, all residing in the northeastern part of Brazil. As the scientists point out, ...
"[t]hese women were selected using a non probabilistic manner in specific locations, such as fitness clubs, hydrogymnastic gyms and a public municipal institution.The sample was randomly divided into four groups, of which one was designed as the control group consisting of individuals that were sedentary (CG) (n = 25) and three were characterised as experimental groups:
- strength training (SG) (n = 25), in which the ladies trained three times per week under the supervision of a qualified trainer and did 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions (weights were progressively increased) with a 2–3 min rest period on each of the 50–60 workouts in which all the major muscle groups of the upper and lower limbs were exercised with the use of either machines with weights, free weights or resistance equipment,
- dance (DG) (n = 18), which the women trained three times per week at a moderate to vigorous intensity, which was defined as 60 to 85% of the maximum heart rate as identified by the calculation 220 – age for 50 to 60 minutes workouts involving activities activating all the major muscle groups in a continuous manner using basic steps and a minimum of three rhythmic variations of popular dance styles and aerobics per session with songs of a rhythmic cadence of 100 to 160 beats per minute, and
- hydrogymnastics (HG) (n = 21), in which the women trained with a frequency of three days per week at moderate to vigorous intensity, defined as 60 to 85% of the maximum heart rate using exercises that involved the major muscle groups of the upper and lower limbs with a focus on cardiorespiratory exercises, followed by muscular endurance exercises using equipment such as shin pads designed for hydrogymnastics, dumbbells, bars, plates, floating devices and pool edges with each exercise taking from 2 to 3 min to complete and the whole session lasting 45 to 55 min.
|Figure 1: Changes in anthropometric parameters after 16 weeks of training (Soares Costa de Mendonça. 2014).|
|Figure 2: Changes in body composition (calculated based on caliper data) after 16 weeks of hydrogymnastics, weight training, dance or idleness (Soares Costa de Mendonça. 2014).|
- Garber, Carol Ewing, et al. "American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 43.7 (2011): 1334-1359.
- Soares Costa de Mendonça, Rosa Maria, et al. "The Effects of Different Exercise Programmes on Female Body Composition." Journal of Human Kinetics 43.1 (2014): 67-78.