Eric R Helms

Eric R Helms
Auckland University of Technology | AUT · Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ)

PhD

About

74
Publications
278,293
Reads
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1,905
Citations
Introduction
Eric R Helms currently works at the Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), Auckland University of Technology. Eric does applied sports science research for strength and physique sport.
Additional affiliations
June 2017 - present
Auckland University of Technology
Position
  • Research Fellow
Education
March 2013 - December 2017
Auckland University of Technology
Field of study
  • Sport and Exercise Science (Thesis title: Using the repetitions in reserve-based rating of perceived exertion scale to autoregulate powerlifting training)
September 2012 - December 2013
Auckland University of Technology
Field of study
  • Sport and Exercise Science (Thesis title: Exploring protein and macronutrient intakes in lean bodybuilders during caloric restriction)
July 2011 - July 2012
California University of Pennsylvania
Field of study
  • Exercise Science and Health Promotion: Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention

Publications

Publications (74)
Article
Full-text available
Many nutrition practices often used by bodybuilders lack scientific support and can be detrimental to health. Recommendations during the dieting phase are provided in the scientific literature, but little attention has been devoted to bodybuilders during the off-season phase. During the off-season phase, the goal is to increase muscle mass without...
Article
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Physique athletes strive for low body fat with high lean mass and have higher body image and eating disorder rates than the general population, and even other weightlifting populations. Whether athletes with a background or tendency to develop these issues are drawn to the sport, or whether it drives these higher incidences, is unknown. However, th...
Article
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The popularity of physique sports is increasing, yet there are currently few comprehensive nutritional guidelines for these athletes. Physique sport now encompasses more than just a short phase before competition and offseason guidelines have recently been published. Therefore, the goal of this review is to provide an extensive guide for male and f...
Article
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Individualisation can improve resistance training prescription. This is accomplished via monitoring or autoregulating training. Autoregulation adjusts variables at an individualised pace per performance, readiness, or recovery. Many autoregulation and monitoring methods exist; therefore, this review's objective was to examine approaches intended to...
Article
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Purpose: To investigate differences between rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and percentage one-repetition maximum (1RM) load assignment in resistance-trained males (19-35yrs) performing protocols with matched sets and repetitions differentiated by load-assignment. Methods: Participants performed squats then bench press 3x/wk in a daily undulati...
Article
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Background Velocity loss (VL) experienced in a set during resistance training is often monitored to control training volume and quantify acute fatigue responses. Accordingly, various VL thresholds are used to prescribe resistance training and target different training adaptations. However, there are inconsistencies in the current body of evidence r...
Article
Davies, TB, Halaki, M, Orr, R, Mitchell, L, Helms, ER, Clarke, J, and Hackett, DA. Effect of set structure on upper-body muscular hypertrophy and performance in recreationally trained men and women. J Strength Cond Res 36(8): 2176–2185, 2022—This study explored the effect of volume-equated traditional-set and cluster-set structures on muscular hype...
Article
Full-text available
Background Carbohydrate (CHO) ingestion has an ergogenic effect on endurance training performance. Less is known about the effect of acute CHO ingestion on resistance training (RT) performance and equivocal results are reported in the literature. Objective The current systematic review and meta-analysis sought to determine if and to what degree CH...
Article
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Resistance training variables such as volume, load, and frequency are well defined. However, the variable proximity to failure does not have a consistent quantification method, despite being defined as the number of repetitions in reserve (RIR) upon completion of a resistance training set. Further, there is between-study variability in the definiti...
Article
While proximity-to-failure is considered an important resistance training (RT) prescription variable, its influence on physiological adaptations and short-term responses to RT is uncertain. Given the ambiguity in the literature, a scoping review was undertaken to summarise evidence for the influence of proximity-to-failure on muscle hypertrophy, ne...
Article
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Background The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of cluster (CS), rest redistribution (RR) and traditional (TS) set configurations on acute neuromuscular performance, and to determine the viability of using CS and RR as alternatives to training prescription based on velocity loss (VL). Methods Thirty-one resistance-trained men perfo...
Article
Kwan, K and Helms, E. Prevalence, magnitude, and methods of weight cutting used by world class powerlifters. J Strength Cond Res 36(4): 998-1002, 2022-Powerlifters compete in the squat, bench press, and deadlift, with winners determined by the highest 3-lift total in each weight class. As a weight class-based sport, athletes often compete in classe...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to examine the agreement between Kinovea video analysis software and the previously validated Open Barbell System (OBS) for assessing average concentric and eccentric velocity, eccentric duration, peak concentric velocity, height of peak concentric velocity, and concentric and eccentric range of motion. Sixteen resista...
Article
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Barbell placement and stance width both affect lifting performance in the back squat around the sticking region. However, little is known about how these squat conditions separately could affect the lifting performance. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of stance width and barbell placement upon kinematics, kinetics, and myoelectric ac...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this multi-experiment paper was to explore the concept of the minimum effective training dose (METD) required to increase 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) strength in powerlifting (PL) athletes. The METD refers to the least amount of training required to elicit meaningful increases in 1RM strength. A series of five studies utilising mixed meth...
Article
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Hypertrophy can be operationally defined as an increase in the axial cross-sectional area of a muscle fiber or whole muscle, and is due to increases in the size of pre-existing muscle fibers. Hypertrophy is a desired outcome in many sports. For some athletes, muscular bulk and, conceivably, the accompanying increase in strength/power, are desirable...
Article
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Abstract: Barbell placement can affect squat performance around the sticking region. This study compared kinematics, kinetics, and myoelectric activity of the safety‐bar squat with the high‐bar, and low‐bar squat around the sticking region. Six recreationally resistance‐trained men (26.3 ± 3.1 years, body mass: 81 ± 7.7 kg) and eight women (22.1 ±...
Article
Spence, A-J, Helms, ER, and McGuigan, MR. Range of motion is not reduced in national-level New Zealand female powerlifters. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2021-Some research suggests male powerlifters have less range of motion (ROM) in several directions about the shoulder and hip compared with sedentary men. In addition, those differences may...
Preprint
Full-text available
The aim of this multi-experiment paper was to explore the concept of the minimum effective training dose (METD) required to increase 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) strength in powerlifting (PL) athletes. The METD refers to the least amount of training required to elicit meaningful increases in 1RM strength. A series of 5 studies utilising mixed methods...
Article
Bodybuilders are judged on the subjective visual assessment of their muscular size, proportion, and leanness. This case series tracked four drug-free bodybuilders (3 male) during the off-season, pre-competition and recovery phases. This study aimed to comprehensively profile key biopsychosocial changes occurring pre/post competition in a group of B...
Article
Full-text available
Background The acute effects of resistance training (RT) set structure alteration are well established; however, less is known about their effects on chronic training adaptations.Objective The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to synthesise the available evidence on the effectiveness of traditional (TS), cluster (CS) and rest redi...
Article
Davies, TB, Halaki, M, Orr, R, Mitchell, L, Helms, ER, Clarke, J, and Hackett, DA. Effect of set structure on upper-body muscular hypertrophy and performance in recreationally trained men and women. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2021-This study explored the effect of volume-equated traditional-set and cluster-set structures on muscular hypert...
Article
Full-text available
Athletes undergoing energy restriction for weight/fat reduction sometimes apply 'diet breaks' involving increased energy intake, but there is little empirical evidence of effects on outcomes. Twenty-six resistance-trained athletes (11/26 or 42% female) who had completed 12 weeks of intermittent energy restriction participated in this study. Partici...
Article
Odgers, JB, Zourdos, MC, Helms, ER, Candow, DG, Dahlstrom, B, Bruno, P, and Sousa, CA. Rating of perceived exertion and velocity relationships among trained males and females in the front squat and hexagonal bar deadlift. J Strength Cond Res 35(2S): S23-S30, 2021-This study examined the accuracy of intraset rating of perceived exertion (RPE) to pre...
Article
Introduction: Can intermittent energy restriction (IER) improve fat loss and fat-free mass retention compared with continuous energy restriction (CER) in resistance-trained adults? Methods: Sixty-one adults (32 women) with mean (SD) age 28.7 (6.5) years, body weight 77.2 (16.1) kg and body fat 25.5 (6.1)% were randomized to 12 weeks of (1) 4 x 3...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The alteration of individual sets during resistance training (RT) is often used to allow for greater velocity and power outputs, reduce metabolite accumulation such as lactate and also reduce perceived exertion which can ultimately affect the resultant training adaptations. However, there are inconsistencies in the current body of evide...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to compare 6-RM muscle activation and kinematics in back squats with low and high barbell placements. Twelve resistance-trained males (23.5 ± 2.6 years, 86.8 ± 21.3 kg, 1.81 ± 0.08 m) with a minimum of 2 years of squatting experience performed a 6-RM using high and low barbell placements while muscle activation of eight mu...
Article
Spence, A-J, Helms, ER, and McGuigan, MR. Stretching practices of International Powerlifting Federation unequipped powerlifters. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2020-Stretching practices in powerlifters. The purpose of this study was to provide insight into the stretching practices of competitive powerlifters. Powerlifters (n = 319) from 51 cou...
Article
Objective: Previous research has shown that certain eating patterns (rigid restraint, flexible restraint, intuitive eating) are differentially related to binge eating. However, despite the distinctiveness of these eating patterns, evidence suggests that they are not mutually exclusive. Using a machine learning-based decision tree classification an...
Article
Full-text available
Background: To prepare for competition, bodybuilders employ strategies based around: energy restriction, resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, isometric "posing", and supplementation. Cohorts of professional (PRO) natural bodybuilders offer insights into how these strategies are implemented by elite competitors, and are undocumented in the...
Article
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Difficult-to-attain beauty standards that are promulgated by the media could contribute to body dissatisfaction, but their potential impact upon body image remains unclear. The present study examined reactions to thin-ideal and muscular-ideal images, and examined the effects of ideal image exposure on preferred body shape and time spent deliberatin...
Article
The velocity and magnitude in which the eccentric phase of an exercise is completed directly affects performance during the concentric phase. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of eccentric phase duration on concentric outcomes at 60% and 80% of one-repetition maximum (1RM) in the squat and bench press. Sixteen c...
Article
Full-text available
Resistance training is commonly prescribed to enhance strength/power qualities and is achieved via improved neuromuscular recruitment, fiber type transition, and/ or skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The rate and amount of muscle hypertrophy associated with resistance training is influenced by a wide array of variables including the training program, pl...
Article
Full-text available
Resistance training volume, determined by the number of sets performed (set-volume) is considered one of the key variables in promoting muscle hypertrophy. To better guide resistance exercise prescription for weekly per-muscle training volume, the purpose of this paper is to provide evidence-based considerations for set-volume ratios between multi-...
Article
This study investigated the effects of high-load cluster- vs. traditional-set structures using the bench press on velocity and power. Twenty-one resistance-trained individuals (male512, female59) performed a 3-week familiarization block followed by randomization into 1 of 2 upper- and lower-body split training routines performed for 8 weeks. The be...
Article
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Purpose: The power clean (PC) and other weightlifting movements are commonly used in the development of muscular power. However, there is a paucity of research examining the use of the hook-grip (HG) in weightlifting performance. Therefore the purpose of this study was to compare one repetition maximum (1RM) and kinetic, kinematic, and qualitative...
Article
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This study examined the time course of recovery following resistance exercise sessions in the back squat, bench press, and deadlift. Twelve well-trained males (age: 24.5±3.8yrs, body mass: 84.01±15.44kg, training age: 7.1±4.2yrs) performed 4 sets to failure at 80% of a one-repetition maximum (1RM) on the squat, bench press, and deadlift in successi...
Article
Abstract Zourdos, MC, Goldsmith, JA, Helms, ER, Trepeck, C, Halle, JL, Mendez, KM, Cooke, DM, Haischer, MH, Sousa, CA, Klemp, A, and Byrnes, RK. Proximity to failure and total repetitions performed in a set influences accuracy of intraset repetitions in reserve-based rating of perceived exertion. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2019—The aim of...
Article
Full-text available
Athletes utilise numerous strategies to reduce body weight or body fat prior to competition. The traditional approach requires continuous energy restriction (CER) for the entire weight loss phase (typically days to weeks). However, there is some suggestion that intermittent energy restriction (IER), which involves alternating periods of energy rest...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Reducing fat mass (FM) while retaining fat free mass (FFM) is a common goal of athletes. Evidence suggests that some—but not all—forms of intermittent energy restriction (IER) may be superior to the conventional method of continuous energy restriction (CER) for people with excess body fat that are sedentary, by reducing some of the ada...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to compare one repetition maximum (1RM), as well as biomechanical outputs across a range of loads (75-100%) in the power clean (PC) utilizing the hook grip (HG) or closed-grip (CG). Eleven well-trained males (PC 1RM=1.34xBW) with at least six months of HG experience volunteered. Following a familiarization session, PC...
Article
Full-text available
To date, the prevailing evidence in the field of exercise oncology supports the safety and efficacy of resistance training to attenuate many oncology treatment-related adverse effects, such as risk for cardiovascular disease, increased fatigue, and diminished physical functioning and quality of life. Moreover, findings in the extant literature supp...
Article
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Objective We performed a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression to determine if dietary protein supplementation augments resistance exercise training (RET)-induced gains in muscle mass and strength. Data sources A systematic search of Medline, Embase, CINAHL and SportDiscus. Eligibility criteria Only randomised controlled trials wit...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this investigation was to observe how a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) based autoregulation strategy impacted volume performed by powerlifters. Twelve (26+/-7yrs, n=9 male, n=3 female) nationally qualified powerlifters performed the back squat, bench press and deadlift 3x/wk. on non-consecutive days in a session order of hypertro...
Article
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This study assessed male (n=9) and female (n=3) powerlifters' (18-49yrs) ability to select loads using the repetitions in reserve (RIR)-based rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale for a single set for squat, bench press and deadlift. Subjects trained 3x/wk. for 3wks. on non-consecutive days in the weekly order of hypertrophy (8-repetitions at 8...
Article
Full-text available
The back-squat is a common exercise in strength and conditioning, for a variety of sports. It is widely regarded as a fundamental movement to increase and measure lower-body and trunk function, as well as an effective injury rehabilitation exercise. There are typically two different bar positions used when performing the back-squat; the traditional...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diets on performance in weight-class restricted strength athletes is inconclusive. However, an LCHF diet could be an effective weight-loss strategy for competition preparation, provided strength is maintained. This study examined the LCHF utility, quantitatively and qualitatively, in five sub-elite le...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The global application of horizontal force (FH) via hip extension is related to improvements in sprint performance (e.g. maximal velocity [vmax] and power [Pmax]). Little is known regarding the contribution of individual-leg FH and how a difference between the legs (asymmetry) might subsequently affect sprint performance. Methods We assesse...
Article
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No prior study has compared the joint angle and ground reaction force (Fv) differences between the high-bar back-squat (HBBS) and low-bar back-squat (LBBS) above 90% 1RM. Six male powerlifters (height: 179.2 ± 7.8 cm; bodyweight: 87.1 ± 8.0 kg; age: 27.3 ± 4.2 years) of international level, six male Olympic weightlifters (height: 176.7 ± 7.7 cm; bo...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to compare average concentric velocity (ACV) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) based on repetitions in reserve on the squat, bench press and deadlift. Fifteen powerlifters (3 female, 12 male, 28.4 ± 8.5 years) worked up to a one repetition maximum (1RM) on each lift. RPE was recorded on all sets and ACV was record...