Comparative Analysis of the Use of Individualized Motor Loads in Fitness Classes with Middle Aged Women



V.F. Kostyuchenko, professor, Dr.Hab
S.S. Kozlov, candidate
Sports complex "Olimpiysky", Minsk
G.V. Rudenko, associate professor, Ph.D.
National State University of Physical Culture, Sport and Health named after P.F. Lesgaft, St. Petersburg

Key words: aerobics, women, methodology, fitness classes, psycho-emotional state.

Introduction. Women aged 30-40 years constitute one of the most active and able-bodied social groups of the population of our country. However, the first signs of aging begin to show as early as then. This is indicated by a decrease in physical performance and the level of development of physical qualities, changes in body weight composition, increased levels of chronic diseases [1, 3, 6]. All this leads to deterioration of health, mood and weakening of creative activity. Furthermore, the said population category is the least involved in physical culture and fitness classes and requires development of a stable need in regular physical exercises [5], while the number of women of this age group exercising at least 30 minutes a week is sharply decreasing [2].

In the reasons why middle aged women give up physical exercises one can see the influence of their social status and financial circumstances (age, motherhood, work), and therefore they need regular physical activity for the development and promotion of health [2, 3, 5].

Aerobics occupies a special place among many different types of physical activity. The reason of the high rating of aerobics among other types of recreational physical exercises for several decades is in its diversity, highly emotional atmosphere of classes due to music and dance style movements [4].

The relevance of the issue is caused by the existing contradictions between the decline in the health of women of 30-40 years old and the need to make them involved in regular exercising; insufficiently studied age-related disadaptation processes in accordance with the age and individual constitutional characteristics of female representatives of this age group.

The purpose of the research was to develop and validate an individualized methodology of fitness aerobics classes for women aged 30-40 years.

Materials and methods. The experiment was conducted at the sports complex "Olimpiysky" in the city of Minsk during the period from October 2012 to June 2013. The main idea of the experiment was to use different methodological approaches at fitness aerobics classes in experimental groups of women of 30-40 years old. 42 women of the said age group were involved in the experiment.

In accordance with the plan of the experiment experimental (EG, n=22) and control (CG, n=20) groups were formed.

The program of the classes included physical exercises performed in a dance rhythm, relaxation, breathing exercises, dance movement therapy techniques and self-massage. The program content was designed in the form of sets of recreational aerobics exercises that were identical for the EG and the CG. The difference in the methodology of classes was in the volume and intensity of the proposed physical loads during which individual specific biological cycle of the female body of the EG subjects was taken into consideration.

When the classes coincided with the I (menstrual, days 1-3), III (ovulatory, days 13-14) and V (premenstrual, days 26-28) phases of the women, the training impact decreased. Since the fitness aerobics classes were organized in groups, during the mentioned periods the women performed the sets of exercises with regard to their state of health, with the addition of relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and dance movement therapy techniques.

The educational experiment lasted 9 months. A total of 108 classes took place (36 weeks, 3 classes per week), and the efficiency of the methodology was evaluated by the results of the testing conducted before and after the start of the course.

Results and discussion. As follows from the comparative analysis of the studied parameters of the women training in accordance with the experimental program (EG) and the results obtained in the CG, if at the beginning of the study the level of physical development, fitness and overall performance capability of members of both groups had been homogeneous and they had not differed much, by the end of the experiment statistically significant changes were revealed in the analyzed parameters (with the advantage in the EG) (Table 1).

Table 1. Indicators of the morphofunctional status of the subjects after the completion of the educational experiment




Significance of differences



Body weight, kg





VC, ml





Chest excursion, cm





Heart rate at rest, bpm





Systolic blood pressure, mmHg





Diastolic blood pressure, mmHg





Maximal oxygen consumption, ml/min





Per 1 kg of body weight, ml/min/kg





Carpal dynamometry: right hand, kg

left hand, kg













Thus, the indicators of physical working capacity of women in the EG have increased by 32.2% compared with the baseline. Subjects in the CG did not undergo statistically significant changes in this respect (р>0.05). The latter indicates the advantage of the proposed methodology of load regulation in the EG. This statement was also confirmed by the high maximal oxygen consumption indicators of the women from the EG. Their aerobic performance indicator reached 2259.8 ml/min, while the CG representatives had it at the level of 1999.4 ml/min.

Significant changes were also observed in the external breathing parameter of the EG subjects, which average increment was 11.97% (р<0.05), while in the case of the CG subjects it decreased statistically insufficiently by 6.56% (p>0.05). During the classes based on the methodology we proposed a decrease in heart rate at rest and normalization of blood pressure were observed.

Changes of disease incidence can be considered an informative indicator of health-related efficiency of the methodology. The number of cases of temporary incapacity for work among the sibjects of the CG and the EG before and after the main set of classes based on the proposed methodology was determined (Table 2).

Table 2. Change of the total disease incidence before and after the fitness classes

Groups of diseases

Before the study

After the study





Cold-related diseases





Main and concurrent diseases





A statistically significant reduction in main and concurrent diseases was found when comparing the analyzed parameters.

Thus, on the basis of the comparative analysis of the obtained data it can be asserted that classes based on the proposed methodology had a positive impact on the physical development of women of the studied group, that being reflected in the improvement of the indicators of body weight, body mass index compared with the original values. There was also an improvement in the functional parameters (VC, heart rate, blood pressure), the indicators of physical qualities development (flexibility, coordination).  

The obtained data confirm the point of view that targeted, methodologically well organized fitness classes taking into account the specifics of the female body can greatly influence the formation of individual functional characteristics and thereby contribute to the improvement of health and general well-being of those engaged in them.

Conclusion. Based on the analysis of the data obtained from the test results, it can be stated that fitness classes with women of the experimental group based on the proposed individualized methodology promoted both a significant increment in the indicators of their physical development and physical fitness, and the improvement of psychoemotional state. And the age of subjects can not be the main indicator when determining physical loads and the nature of training sessions. The monitoring of the women's emotional state during classes revealed the positive changes in mood, well-being and activity under the influence of physical loads (р< 0.05).

The efficacy of the technique of load regulation at fitness aerobics classes, subject to individual course of a specific biological cycle in women aged 30-40 years, is confirmed by more significant shifts in the improvement of their level of physical fitness, reduction of the rate of cold-related diseases, normalization of sleep, overall mood and health. Classes have improved the motivation of those engaged in regular physical exercises, contributed to development of a stable need in them over the next years of life.


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