Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Paul Sacco


The number of females engaged in some form of sporting activity is growing rapidly, but many women still shy away from weight training because of their fear of excessive muscular hypertrophy and its accompanying loss of femininity. Because strength and muscular endurance play a vital role in most sporting endeavours, and weight training has proven to be one of the most effective methods to improve both attributes, any training regime that could achieve concurrent increases in both measures without noticeable increases in muscle size would be ideally suited to most women. Changes in strength and endurance resulting from eight weeks resistance training of the non-dominant elbow flexors were followed in 11 females using either a high repetition low resistance training regime [Endurance], a low repetition moderate resistance training regime[Strength], or a combination routine alternating between the two regimes [Combined]. Changes in body weight, limb girth or skinfolds were also monitored. The occurrence and severity of any delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) based on the subjective assessment by each participant was also monitored. Strength gains [as measured by 1 RM preacher bench curls] were apparent in response to all training regimes [E: S: C], with mean pre-post increases of 11.9%, 12.0% and 10.5% respectively. Isometric peak torque tests produced only one statistically significant mean pre-post strength increase [20.5%], and that was achieved by the S group. Isokinetic peak torque measurements at 30° per second produced significant mean pre-post increases for both the S and C groups of 17.7% and 17.0% respectively, but when the assessment speed was increased to 90° per second only the 22.9% increase posted by the C group was found to fall within the selected (p< . 05) level of statistical significance. Changes in muscular endurance were assessed using the total work produced during 25 continuous repetitions at 90° per second, and the only statistically significant increase was achieved by the C group. The results of this study showed that gains in strength and muscular endurance can be made by previously untrained females in response to 8 weeks of alternating concurrent moderate f/0-75% 1RM) intensity /low (5 x 6 repetition) volume, and low ( 40-45% l RM) intensity I moderate (5 x 25 repetition) volume training regimes, and that strength gains could be achieved without noticeable DOMS or any significant increases in muscle girth measurements.