The study divided subjects (women over 65 years of age) into three groups: Heavy load strength training (using 80% of their one-rep maximum and aiming for 10 reps), light load strength training (using 40% of their one-rep maximum and aiming for 30 reps), and a control group who did not strength train but instead, performed gentle stretching.
The results? The researchers concluded that both heavy load and light load strength training positively impacted gene pathways that prevent or blunt inflammation. Interesting, of the 98 genes investigated and affected, some pathways were more positively influenced by heavy weights while other gene pathways were more positively influenced by lighter weights. This study provides support for using a variety of rep ranges and both heavy, moderate, and lighter weights in our strength training as these varying training methodologies may have different impacts on the pathways that influence an anti-inflammatory response.