The effects of a supervised resistance-training program on Special Olympics athletes.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of a resistance-training program on athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID).

DESIGN/PARTICIPANTS: 2-way (2 x 2), repeated-measures analysis of variance on 2 groups (males and females); 30 Special Olympics (SO) athletes, age 16-22 (16 males, 14 females).

INTERVENTION/OUTCOME MEASURES: Resistance training, twice per week, for 3 months on Med-X weight equipment. Exercises tested: chest press, abdominal crunch, seated row, overhead press, seated dip, lower back extension, and biceps curl. The weight lifted and the number of repetitions performed were used to determine predicted 1-repetition max (1RM).

RESULTS: All participants as a group increased significantly in predicted 1RM for each exercise performed. Males were stronger than females for 5 of the 7 exercises. A significant interaction effect between genders was demonstrated for the seated dip. CONCLUSION: Significant strength gains can be accomplished by adolescents with ID via a supervised resistance-training program.