Date of Completion


Embargo Period


Major Advisor

William J. Kraemer

Associate Advisor

Michael F. Joseph

Associate Advisor

Craig R. Dengar

Associate Advisor

Carl M. Maresh

Associate Advisor

Jeff S. Volek

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Chronic resistance training is a whole body stimulus and can cause adaptations in skeletal muscle, bone, and tendon. Lean body mass and bone mineral density increases are expected with training, yet it is unclear how tendons adapt to chronic resistance training. To better understand these adaptations, we examined body composition, patellar and Achilles properties, and serum markers of collagen turnover between young men who regularly resistance trained, utilizing multiple joint, large muscle group exercises (n =13, age: 22.2±1.4 y), and a group of young men (n =13, age: 22.8±2.2 y), who were moderately active, yet did not resistance train. A cross-sectional design, was used to compare lean body mass and bone mineral density from a dual x-ray absorptiometry, and patellar and Achilles cross-sectional area (CSA), stiffness, and Young’s modulus from simultaneous ultrasound imaging and force recordings of a ramp isometric contraction protocol. Lastly, relationships between serum collagen turnover markers and tendon properties were explored. We found trained men to have greater lean body mass and bone mineral density, as well as patellar tendons that were 45% stiffer, 36% greater Young’s modulus, and larger CSA. Achilles tendons of trained men were larger, similar in stiffness and modulus, and displayed no appreciable changes in response to acute exercise. Lastly, our serum markers of collagen turnover were not different between the groups, and were not correlated with any of our tendon or bone variables. These findings show trained men had distinctly different skeletal muscle, bone, and tendon tissues than non-resistance trained men, indicating benefits of chronic resistance training, beyond that of a moderately active lifestyle.

Available for download on Tuesday, August 20, 2019