Effects of an Academic Course on Students' Resistance Training Knowledge

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Exhibit Hall Poster Area 1 (Convention Center)
Brian W. McGladrey, Weber State University, Ogden, UT and Chad E. Smith, Weber State University, OGDEN, UT
Background/Purpose: There is evidence to suggest that high school physical educators and sport coaches are deficient in the knowledge they should possess to effectively and safely instruct students and athletes in the weight room (McGladrey et al., 2014). In part, this deficiency is a result of the fact that physical education teacher education (PETE) programs often do not require students to complete a course in resistance training principles and methods as part of the curriculum (Ayers & Housner, 2008). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a single academic course on undergraduate students’ acquisition of content knowledge specific to resistance training principles and methods.

Method: Participants in this study consisted of 198 undergraduate students enrolled in a resistance training methods course at a university located in the Southwest United States, from which IRB approval was obtained prior to the start to the study. Participants were degree-seeking students in the programs of PETE, human performance management, and athletic training. The curriculum for this two-credit semester course included lectures, and lab work (i.e., learning and practicing exercises/lifts in a weight room). To answer the study’s research question, pre- and post-test scores were collected using a 90-question examination developed specifically for the secondary-school physical educator/coach population (McGladrey et al., 2014). At the start of the semester students would complete the exam as a pre-test; the same exam was administered as the final exam at the course’s completion.

Analysis/Results: An analysis of results showed a significant difference in post-test scores (M = 86.38, SD = 10.92) when compared to pre-test scores (M = 61.06, SD = 11.20); t(197) = -27.08, p < .001. When compared to the exam’s passing score of 75%, the pass rate for participants on the pre-test was 11%, while on the post-test it was 90%. These results suggest that completion of a single academic course can positively influence students’ acquisition of content knowledge in resistance training principles and methods.

Conclusions: The pass rate for participants on the pre-test (11%) was similar to findings reported by McGladrey et al. (2014), in which 16% achieved a passing score (≥75%); however, the pass rate on the post-test was considerably higher at 90%. The significance of this study is that its results suggest that PETE program directors should consider including a methods course (at minimum) in resistance training as part of the PETE curriculum.