Perceptions of Resistance Training Amongst Female Health Club Patrons

Craig L Elder, Erin L Nelson, Jay J Dawes, Margaret Harris, Cheryl Kelly, Liana Tobin


Background: Resistance training (RT) is a widely accepted component of a well-rounded exercise routine. Anecdotal information suggests that females typically view RT as a masculine activity. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine why females who are already engaged in an exercise routine are reluctant to embrace RT. Methods: Ninety-four (N=94) participants completed a 37-item questionnaire, developed to assess female perceptions of RT. The instrument was designed to gather information on demographics, the participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs towards RT. The questionnaire was administered at three fitness facilities. Analyses were conducted using descriptive frequencies, independent sample t-test, and chi square tests. Results: A significant difference (p ≤ 0.001) was found between the participants who met the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) recommendations and those who did not. For moderate intensity aerobic exercise duration, 59.6% of participants did not meet the ACSM recommendation (mean = 83.62 min/week). For conventional strength training frequency, 75.6% of the participants met the ACSM recommendations for RT. For functional strength training frequency, 51.0% of participants did not meet the ACSM recommendations for RT. Conclusion: females, who met the ACSM’s recommendations for RT, did not for aerobic exercise. Females displayed knowledge of RT and did not report belief in the misconceptions of RT. Further research is needed to determine why females are participating in sufficient levels of RT, but not aerobic exercise. More detailed research should also be conducted to determine if females are participating in the adequate volume of RT.


perception, resistance training, female, ACSM recommendations, aerobic exercise

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