Fitness Changes in Adolescent Girls Following In-School Combined Aerobic and Resistance Exercise: Interaction With Birthweight

Daniel Dylan Cohen, Javier Carreño, Paul Anthony Camacho, Johanna Otero, Daniel Martinez, Jose Lopez-Lopez, Gavin R. Sandercock, Patricio Lopez-Jaramillo

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To assess the efficacy of a supervised in-school combined resistance and aerobic training program in adolescent girls and investigate whether responses differ according to birthweight. METHODS: Participants (girls aged 13-17 y) were randomized either to an intervention replacing physical education (PE) classes with 2 × 60-minute training sessions per week (n = 58) or to a control group that continued to attend 2 × 60 minutes per week of curriculum PE (n = 41). We measured muscular fitness (handgrip, standing long jump, and sit-ups), cardiorespiratory fitness (20-m shuttle run), skinfolds, and lean body mass preintervention and postintervention and determined effect size (Hedge's g) differences between changes in these measures. We also compared changes within lower (<3000 g) and normal birthweight intervention and PE control subgroups. RESULTS: The intervention group showed greater improvements in all the fitness measures and lean body mass (g = 0.22-0.48) and lower skinfold increases (g = 0.41) than PE controls. Within the intervention group, improvements in all fitness measures were larger in lower birthweight (g = 0.53-0.94) than in normal birthweight girls (g = 0.02-0.39). CONCLUSION: Replacing curriculum PE with supervised training improved muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition outcomes in adolescent females. Our findings suggest an enhanced adaptive response to training in participants with lower birthweight which warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric exercise science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


  • cardiorespiratory
  • early life conditions
  • strength training
  • training adaptations
  • youth
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Physical Fitness/physiology
  • Humans
  • Resistance Training
  • Birth Weight
  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Schools
  • Hand Strength


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