The effect of a 6-week progressive, combined resistance and cardiovascular training program on muscular strength, endurance, and body composition in young adults with a mild to moderate intellectual global delay
Master of Science
Health and intellectual disability
Barriers to physical activity
Physical fitness and activity
Measuring muscular strength, cardiorespiratory endurance and body composition
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Individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) are defined as people who have significant limitation in both intellectual functioning such as learning and problem solving, as well as in adaptive behavior such as social and practical skills (Schalock et al., 2010). As a result of these issues they do not participate in regular physical activity and most exhibit a sedentary lifestyle leading to a multitude of health issues (Segal et al., 2016). In fact, Dixon-Ibarra and colleagues (2013) reported that only 6% of older adults (age 50+) and 13% of young adults (age 18- 49) with ID and were meeting daily activity guidelines on a regular basis. In previous research, a number of different approaches were implemented in order to improve the health status of these individuals (Boer & Moss, 2016; Carmeli et al, 2005; Temple & Stanish, 2008). However, the majority of the programs did not incorporate resistance training and only prescribed cardiorespiratory exercises at very moderate intensity (Sungmen et al, 2016; Tamin et al, 2015). Also, the two studies that did include a combination of resistance and cardiovascular training have not incorporated full body strength training (Carmeli et al, 2005; Temple & Stanish, 2008). In addition, the past programs devised for this population did not include the principle of progressive training, a crucial component of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, 2017) exercise guidelines. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a 6-week, progressive combined training program on muscular strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and body composition in young adults with a mild to moderate global delay (M= 23.1 years, SD= 2.29). The sessions were implemented 3 times a week for 1-hour sessions and incorporated full body resistance training with machine and free weights, followed by cardiorespiratory training (treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical).