Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Lance Bollinger


Background: To determine the role of muscle mass in sex-dependent differences in power output during flywheel resistance training (FRT).

Methods: Twenty recreationally active (≥ 2 resistance exercise bouts per week), subjects (10 M, 10 F) completed 2 bouts of resistance exercise using a flywheel resistance training (FRT) device (Exxentric kbox 4 Pro) separated by at least one week. Each session consisted of 3 sets of 4 exercises (squat, bent-over row, Romanian deadlift, and biceps curl) with varying moments of inertia (0.050, 0.075, and 0.100 kg/m2, respectively) in random order. Each set consisted of 5 maximal effort repetitions with 3-minute recovery between sets. Average power, peak concentric and peak eccentric power were recorded and normalized to whole-body skeletal muscle mass (as calculated from bioelectrical impedence analysis). Additionally, linear regression analysis was used to determine the association between muscle mass and highest power output observed among all three inertial loads.

Results: Absolute average, peak concentric and peak eccentric power for all lifts was significantly higher for males compared to females except for peak eccentric power for biceps curl which showed no significant difference. After normalizing to skeletal muscle mass, power output remained significantly higher for men in Row average power and peak concentric power as well as average power for biceps curl. A significant main effect of inertial load was noted for both absolute and relative power output for all exercises except for squat average power and peak concentric power. Regression analysis revealed that power output increases linearly with skeletal muscle mass (R2 = 0.37-0.77).

Conclusions: Differences in power output between sexes during resistance exercise can largely be explained by differences in muscle mass. Indeed, muscle mass accounts for approximately 37-77% of the variance in power output during FRT depending on the exercise. Increasing inertial load tends to decrease power output during FRT.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)