added a research item
A weight (resistance) training program includes training variables, such as exercises, sets, repetitions and training frequency. A training plan describes how the variables should be modified over time. In order to be effective, both training programs and plans should be based on some basic principles, applicable to all trainees. Based on the literature review, the most important and well supported is the principle of progressive overload, which states that the stimulus should be gradually increasing over time. The principle of specificity states that the training adaptations are specific to the stimulus applied, while the principle of variation (and periodization) states that the stimulus should change (within the specificity limits) to remain challenging. Although they are not necessary to increase performance, there is evidence supporting higher improvements. The principle of individuality states that the stimulus should be adjusted based on the individual's needs. Even though overlooked, limited data indicate that it may be more important than specificity and variation. This paper discusses the basic principles, the criticism against them, and how they should be applied when designing resistance training programs. Contribution/Originality: This study documents the principles that a weight training plan should be based on some basic principles, applicable to all trainees. This study contributes in the existing literature by clarifying the confusion and misconceptions on the topic.
Background: Creatine kinase (CK) is a blood marker used to assess muscle damage and overtraining. A simple model was developed to assess the effectiveness of various weight training programs. The model assumes that every weight training session has an additive effect on CK levels. Materials and Methods: A subject trained the chest, and then measured the CK response over the baseline for a few days. To confirm the additive effect of training on CK levels, the CK levels were also measured after the back training following one to three days the chest training. The model was applied to typical weight training programs of two to four sessions per week. Results: The results confirmed the validity of the model and its simplified assumptions. Application of the model showed that the CK levels can remain elevated depending on the training frequency. Thus, attention should be paid to the recovery days in order to keep CK within acceptable ranges. Conclusion: The simplified CK model can be used to estimate the CK levels of weight training programs. Keeping the CK levels at appropriate levels will not only avoid overtraining, but may optimize recovery and improve performance.
The Creatine Kinase (CK) is a blood marker commonly used to assess exercise induced muscle damage. However, little attention has been given for its use as an index of recovery and adaptation after weight training sessions. In this review, studies that measured the CK after single bouts of typical gym and fitness studios exercises were summarized, while eccentric actions or aerobic (endurance) studies were excluded. At a second step long term studies (>four weeks duration, or 1-2 weeks for overreaching) were used to estimate CK levels that could result in increase or decrease of performance (strength or hypertrophy). The analysis of this review showed that CK levels peaked after one to three days at mean levels of 2.5 (quads), 3.5 (whole body) or 4.5 (biceps) times the pre-exercise (base) levels. The variability though was very high and one more standard deviation brought these numbers to 5.5 times the base levels or 900 U/L. The long term studies showed that at CK levels >550 U/L (3.5 times the base levels), the performance tended to be stable or decrease. The main message of this review is that CK levels should be measured two to three days after the last training session and should be kept <550 U/L in order to avoid performance decrease and possibly to optimize improvements.
Article History Weight (resistance) training can increase strength and muscle mass. A personalized training protocol (i.e., with optimum frequency and number of sets) was followed for 4 months by a 40-year old male with 20 years of weight training experience. The body was split in three parts and was trained every 5-6 days. The strength increase was between 7% (back) and 17% (legs), while the free-fat mass increase was 0.4 kg (0.5%), which was lost after the 4-month period. It was shown that reduced sleep duration for one night did not affect the strength performance. However, with 2 days of reduced sleep, there were indications of worse performance. The results confirm the importance of personalized weight training programs and good sleep habits for strength improvements. Contribution/Originality: This study documents that a personalized weight (resistance) training programs can result in strength increases even for advanced trainees. This study contributes in the existing literature showing that one-night sleep restriction only slightly affects strength performance, but two nights of reduced sleep duration have a negative effect.
Increases in strength and muscle mass can be achieved with weight training and adequate recovery (including nutrition and sleep). The time course of recovery and adaptation (super-compensation) for different number of sets has not been adequately investigated in the literature. A 40-year-old well-trained male exercised the chest with (a) 3 sets of bench press, (b) 5 sets of bench press, (c) 5 sets of bench press and 4 sets of dips, all to momentary concentric muscular failure during a 6 months body split program. The recovery was assessed by comparing the number of repetitions of the first bench press set to the previous training session. The results showed that with 3 and 5 sets to failure adaptation (+1 repetition) took place after 5 days. 9 sets needed 7 days for recovery and no adaptation took place. The adaptation was faster when exercising the chest without training the back and/or legs, indicating that Selye's adaptation energy (resources potential) might be applicable to weight training as well. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and motivation (mood) were found to be useful indexes of recovery. Implications on training volume and frequency and how the findings can be applied in practice are discussed.