Once a Week Resistance Training Improves Muscular Strength in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: Exercise has been shown to reduce adverse outcomes related to breast cancer. However, the rate of adherence to physical exercise is very low among breast cancer survivors (BCS). This study investigated the effects of high supervision ratio resistance training (RT), once a week for 8 weeks, on changes in body composition and muscular strength in BCS. Methods: Twenty-five female BCS undergoing hormone therapy were randomized into resistance training group (TG, n = 12) or control (CG, n = 13) group. The TG performed 8 weeks of supervised RT, with 1 trainer per volunteer, once a week. Body composition was evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and muscle strength was evaluated by 10 repetition maximum (10 RM) for leg press (45°) and bench press exercises. A 1-way analysis of variance was used to compare within-group effects at pre- and post-intervention. An analysis of covariance test was used to compare post-intervention values, using pre-intervention measures as covariates. The effect size (ES) was calculated by Cohen’s d. Results: The TG improved muscle strength in 10 RM leg press (45°; Δ 33.75 ± 11.51 kg, P = .02; ES = 0.96) and bench press (Δ 4.08 ± 1.83 kg, P = .01; ES = 1.15). Adherence to training was more than 99%. Changes in body composition were not detected. There were no changes in the CG for any assessment. Conclusion: Once-weekly supervised RT could be an alternative to increase the adherence to exercise and improve muscular strength in BCS.

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