Thirty years on: A narrative review of research on strength training for female athletes since the national strength and conditioning association’s position paper
In the fall of 1989, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) published its position paper on strength training for female athletes. The work ultimately concluded that females responded to strength training programs comparably to male counterparts and should thus be trained in a similar fashion. The authors went on to point out, however, that their conclusion was based on a relatively small body of research. This article reviews the research on strength training related to female athletes since the publication of the NSCA’s position paper. Research since that paper’s publication has largely validated the initial findings with additional data. It also has shown that multiple sets and periodized programs appear to be more effective at improving muscular size, strength, and power. Injury prevention programs, such as those designed to mitigate knee injuries, also have been shown to improve parameters of athletic performance.