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The Use of Specialized Training Techniques to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy

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Abstract

A VARIETY OF SPECIALIZED TRAINING TECHNIQUES HAVE BEEN ADVOCATED AS A MEANS TO HEIGHTEN MUSCLE GROWTH. FORCED REPETITIONS/DROP SETS, SUPERSETS, AND HEAVY NEGATIVES, IN PARTICULAR, HAVE BEEN PURPORTED TO ENHANCE THE HYPERTROPHIC RESPONSE TO RESISTANCE EXERCISE. THIS ARTICLE WILL EXPLORE THE POTENTIAL ROLE OF THESE TECHNIQUES IN PROMOTING MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY AND PROVIDE AN INSIGHT INTO POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS TO RESISTANCE TRAINING PROGRAMS.

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... Another commonly discussed technique is that of breakdown sets (also known as drop sets and descending sets; 25,29). Breakdown (BD) sets require the performance of a set to MMF with a given load before immediately reducing the load and continuing repetitions to subsequent MMF. ...
... As such this technique can allow MMF to be achieved in addition to potentially inducing greater fatigue related stimuli. It is thought this might maximise recruitment of both type II and type I MUs through use of both heavier and lighter loads thus allowing the combination of high muscular tension as well as inducing greater MU fatigue, metabolic stress, and ischemia due to extended time under tension (29). ...
... 7,16,26,31) and academic literature (e.g. 1,29)is lacking evidence to support its efficacy. With this in mind, the aim of the present study was to determine the effects of 12-weeks resistance training with and without BD protocols on muscular performance and body composition. ...
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Breakdown (BD) training has been advocated by multiple commercial and academic publications and authors, seemingly as a result of the acute hormonal and muscle activation responses it produces. However, there is a relative dearth of research which has empirically considered this advanced method of resistance training (RT) over a chronic intervention whilst appropriately controlling other RT variables. The present study considered thirty-six male and female participants divided in to three groups; breakdown (BD, n=11), heavy-load breakdown (HLBD, n=14) and traditional (CON, n=11), performing full-body resistance training programmes 2 x / week for 12 weeks. No significant between group differences were identified for change in absolute muscular endurance for chest press, leg press, or pull down exercises, or for body composition changes. Effect sizes for absolute muscular endurance changes were large for all groups and exercises (0.86 - 2.74). The present study supports previous research that the use of advanced training techniques stimulates no greater muscular adaptations when compared to performing more simplified resistance training protocols to momentary muscular failure.
... The outcome of a given RT protocol depends on multiple factors such as the contraction modes per repetition, duration of each repetition, rest between repetitions, time under tension, proximity to muscular failure, range of motion, and recovery time [35]. Several methods are widely used among trainees to enhance the hypertrophic response of resistance training (RT) such as drop sets, negative sets, forced repetitions and supersets [3,31]. Indeed, the heightened stimulus of these strategies may translate into increased levels of mechanical and metabolic stress, triggering the activation of factors proposed to be involved in anabolism including hormonal elevations [3,32], muscle swelling [32], muscle fiber recruitment [31] and muscle protein synthesis [8], ultimately leading to increased muscle hypertrophy. ...
... Several methods are widely used among trainees to enhance the hypertrophic response of resistance training (RT) such as drop sets, negative sets, forced repetitions and supersets [3,31]. Indeed, the heightened stimulus of these strategies may translate into increased levels of mechanical and metabolic stress, triggering the activation of factors proposed to be involved in anabolism including hormonal elevations [3,32], muscle swelling [32], muscle fiber recruitment [31] and muscle protein synthesis [8], ultimately leading to increased muscle hypertrophy. ...
... Other research demonstrated that force output of the agonist can be increased by prior contraction of the antagonist muscle, probably due to increased accumulated elastic energy in the muscle tendon and a decrease in antagonist muscle activity (i.e. reciprocal inhibition) [18,31]. Coactivation (concurrent activation of agonist and antagonist muscles) might change the pattern of ballistic contractions and lower resistance due to pre-exhaustion of the antagonist, improved activation of the agonist due to mutual innervation [28]. ...
Article
PurposeTo investigate the physiological responses to low-load, superset resistance training (two exercises for the agonist and antagonist muscles performed without rest between exercises) to failure using elastic bands.Methods Twenty-three athletes were randomized to either a superset group (S, n = 12, average age: 19.8 ± 1.5 years) or a traditional set group (T, n = 11, average age: 20.1 ± 1.4 years). Strength, cross-sectional area (CSA) and muscular endurance of the biceps and triceps brachii were assessed before and after 8 weeks. Acute responses (muscle thickness) were measured during one testing session.ResultsMuscle thickness of the biceps significantly increased in both T group (P < 0.05) and S group (P < 0.05) after a single bout of Training. The triceps did not show significant increases in either T group (P > 0.05) or S group (P > 0.05). Blood lactate also increased in both groups after one bout of training (T: from 1.3 ± 0.3 to 5.5 ± 2.4 mmol/L, S: from 1.4 ± 0.5 to 5.1 ± 1.5 mmol/L, P < 0.05). After 8-week training, both groups showed significant increases in the biceps (T: 13.2% ± 5.0%; S: 12.9% ± 7.3%, P < 0.05) and triceps (T: 9.5% ± 9.3%, S: 4.8% ± 4.1%, P < 0.05) without differences between groups. Increases in one repetition maximum for the bench press (7.8% ± 6.5%, P < 0.05) and maximal voluntary contraction for the arm extensors (9.3% ± 11.6%, P < 0.05) were observed for the T group only. Increases in muscular endurance were observed only in the S group for the bench press (26.0% ± 19.1%, P < 0.05) and the barbell curl (17.2% ± 16.6%, P < 0.05).Conclusions Superset training may enhance muscular endurance while attenuating maximal strength gains. There does not appear to be a hypertrophic benefit to performing superset training, but it may provide a time-efficient strategy to achieve adaptations in muscle mass.
... This foundation will serve as a primary step on which the development of a solid base for strength and power capacity will be built on during the later stages (51). Achieving a high level of strength is also crucial before the utilization of more complex and specialized strength and power training methods to optimize physical development (4,20,57). The rate of force development (RFD) and the capacity to generate strength with speed are factors more specifically related to athletic performance (30,62). ...
... Stimulating muscle hypertrophy necessitates mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and adapted nutrient intakes (14,16,57). The load and the time under tension, therefore, are of paramount importance (57). ...
... Stimulating muscle hypertrophy necessitates mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and adapted nutrient intakes (14,16,57). The load and the time under tension, therefore, are of paramount importance (57). Resistance training programs that aim to optimize structural adaptations should activate the glycolytic metabolism (lactate and H + ions production) and induce muscular damage (40,56). ...
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Abstract The purpose of this article is to describe the training strategy built by the French Rugby Union to optimize strength and power development in elite rugby union players. The training process is based on 4 stages composed of educational and technical efficiency, work capacity, maximal strength and explosive power. The evolution of the player during these different steps should be adjusted according to individual progression and not only their chronological and biological age. Supervised training sessions with qualified and experienced strength and conditioning coaches are paramount to ensure individualized training and provide sound pedagogical approaches.
... Coaches, powerlifters and bodybuilders have developed advanced resistance training (RT) systems in which RT variables are manipulated with the purpose of maximizing neuromuscular adaptations (e.g. gains muscle strength and hypertrophy) [1][2][3][4][5]. It has also been suggested that RT systems prevent the stagnation of these adaptations in highly-trained individuals [1][2][3][4][5]. ...
... gains muscle strength and hypertrophy) [1][2][3][4][5]. It has also been suggested that RT systems prevent the stagnation of these adaptations in highly-trained individuals [1][2][3][4][5]. Each RT system manipulates a specific set of RT variables (e.g., intensity, volume, muscle action, type and order of exercises, repetition velocity) [6], which emphasizes distinct physiologic mechanisms to enhance RT-induced adaptations [7]. ...
... This cycle may occur a few times within a set [1,73]. It is claimed that the high number of repetitions performed on each set of the DS system, and the greater TTV compared with other systems and TRAD may maximize/optimize increases in muscle strength and mass [5]. In addition, the high number of repetitions, combined with short rests, increases the metabolic stress in DS [5,7,22]. ...
Article
To optimize/maximize increases on muscle strength and mass in well resistance-trained individuals, the use of resistancetraining (RT) systems have been widely recommended by powerlifters, bodybuilders and coaches. These systems may be characterized as advanced techniques that manipulate specific RT variables emphasizing physiologic mechanisms. However, there is a lack of evidence on literature supporting the advantages of RT systems on muscle strength and mass increases compared with traditional RT performed with constant sets, repetitions and load. It is possible that these equivocal findings are associated with methodological limitations that preclude the correct interpretation of the results. Therefore, the purpose of the present review article was to critically analyze studies and draw conclusions on the effects of RT systems on muscle strength and mass enhancements. The evidence available so far does not allow the determination of wheter RT systems can optimize/maximize increases in muscle strength and mass when compared to traditional RT.
... There is little comparative research on these two strength training methods, but the few studies that have been conducted with drop sets have demonstrated positive effects. 3,6,8 In their review of relevant research, Willardson, Norton, and Wilson concluded that, "…training to failure and beyond with partner-assisted repetitions and descending sets might be most beneficial to hypertrophy-oriented training programs because of greater acute secretions of growth hormone." 8 Similarly, in another review on this topic, Brad Schoenfeld concluded that, "Evidence suggests a beneficial effect for selectively including forced reps, drop sets, supersets, and heavy negatives in hypertrophy-oriented resistance training routine. ...
... 8 Similarly, in another review on this topic, Brad Schoenfeld concluded that, "Evidence suggests a beneficial effect for selectively including forced reps, drop sets, supersets, and heavy negatives in hypertrophy-oriented resistance training routine. 6 However, the reviewers also noted that performing this type of training too frequently increases the risk for overreaching and overtraining, 6 as well as experiencing unfavorable changes in resting testosterone and cortisol levels that may actually limit muscle hypertrophy. ...
... 8 Similarly, in another review on this topic, Brad Schoenfeld concluded that, "Evidence suggests a beneficial effect for selectively including forced reps, drop sets, supersets, and heavy negatives in hypertrophy-oriented resistance training routine. 6 However, the reviewers also noted that performing this type of training too frequently increases the risk for overreaching and overtraining, 6 as well as experiencing unfavorable changes in resting testosterone and cortisol levels that may actually limit muscle hypertrophy. ...
Article
Full-text available
Article Learning Objectives: • To be able to give a general description of the autonomic marker heart rate variability and its common units of measure. • To be able to brie y describe the clinical origins and relevance of heart rate variability. • To be able to recognize general effects of activity on markers of heart rate variability. • To become aware of the alternative approaches to exercise programming through heart rate variability.
... Several methods to increase the intensity of effort in resistance training (RT) such as forced repetitions (FR), eccentric training (ET) and drop sets (DS) are widely used by athletes in an attempt to increase muscle mass 1 . Unlike FR and ET, which require external help to increase intensity of effort, DS increases intensity by dropping the load each time the point of failure is reached. ...
... Unlike FR and ET, which require external help to increase intensity of effort, DS increases intensity by dropping the load each time the point of failure is reached. The improved mechanical and metabolic stress and muscle damage experienced with DS may lead to improved muscle hypertrophy via several anabolic pathways such as increased muscle protein synthesis 2 , muscle fiber recruitment 1,3 , hormonal increases and cell swelling 4 . ...
... Even though the DS method is widely used by many athletes in order to maximize muscle gains, only a few studies compared muscle hypertrophy in DS and conventional RT. Indeed, research on increased intensity training methods, especially DS training, is incomplete in regard to its long-term effects on muscle and strength gains 1 . Only a few studies have endeavored to specifically investigate the effects of DS training on muscular adaptations [5][6][7] . ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: We investigated the effects of 2 different resistance training (RT) protocols on muscle hypertrophy and strength. The first group (n = 8) performed a single drop set (DS) and the second group (n = 8) performed 3 sets of conventional RT (normal set, NS). Methods: Eight young men in each group completed 6 weeks of RT. Muscle hypertrophy was assessed via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and strength via 12 RM tests before and after the 6 weeks. Acute stress markers such as muscle thickness (MT), blood lactate (BL), maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) before and after one bout of RT. Results: Both groups showed significant increases in triceps muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) (10.0 ± 3.7%, effect size (ES) = 0.47 for DS and 5.1 ± 2.1%, ES = 0.25 for NS). Strength increased in both groups (16.1 ± 12.1%, ES = 0.88 for DS and 25.2 ± 17.5%, ES = 1.34 for NS). Acute pre/post measurements for one bout of RT showed significant changes in MT (18.3 ± 5.8%, p < 0.001) and MVC (-13.3 ± 7.1, p < 0.05) in the DS group only and a significant difference (p < 0.01) in RPE was observed between groups (7.7 ± 1.5 for DS and 5.3 ± 1.4 for NS). Conclusions: Superior muscle gains might be achieved with a single set of DS compared to 3 sets of conventional RT, probably due to higher stress experienced in the DS protocol.
... Resistance training (RT) is considered as the most effective method to increase muscle strength and mass (i.e., muscle hypertrophy), and to change muscle architecture parameters (e.g., increases in pennation angle and fascicle length) (Aagaard et al. 2002;ACSM 2002ACSM , 2009ACSM , 2011Ades et al. 2005;Blazevich et al. 2007;Kraemer and Ratamess 2004;Seynnes et al. 2007). To maximize, or to prevent the stagnation of gains in muscle strength and mass, coaches and well-trained lifters have used advanced RT systems (Charro et al. 2010;Fleck and Kraemer 2014;Kraemer and 1 3 Ratamess 2004; Ribeiro et al. 2016;Schoenfeld 2011). RT systems encompass a variety of training techniques that emphasize different RT variables (e.g., intensity, volume, muscle action, type and order of exercises, and repetition velocity) aiming to maximize specific training-induced adaptations (e.g., muscle strength or muscle hypertrophy). ...
... RT systems encompass a variety of training techniques that emphasize different RT variables (e.g., intensity, volume, muscle action, type and order of exercises, and repetition velocity) aiming to maximize specific training-induced adaptations (e.g., muscle strength or muscle hypertrophy). Albeit RT systems are recommended for trained individuals (Fleck and Kraemer 2014;Schoenfeld 2011), little is known if these systems indeed produce superior muscle adaptations when compared to traditional RT (TRAD) protocol. ...
... This system is characterized by sets performed to muscle failure; after failure exercise load is immediately reduced (e.g., ~20%), allowing individuals to perform additional repetitions to muscle failure on each set (Bentes et al. 2012;Fleck and Kraemer 2014). In this regard, it is suggested that DS produces a high metabolic stress due to a high number of repetitions performed on each set, and, therefore TTV, which may promote greater increases in muscle mass than TRAD (Goto et al. 2004;Mangine et al. 2015;Schoenfeld 2010Schoenfeld , 2011Schoenfeld , 2013b. Similar to CP, there are no studies that have compared training-induced adaptations between DS and TRAD protocols. ...
Article
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Purpose The aim of this study was to compare the effects of crescent pyramid (CP) and drop-set (DS) systems with traditional resistance training (TRAD) with equalized total training volume (TTV) on maximum dynamic strength (1-RM), muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), pennation angle (PA) and fascicle length (FL). Methods Thirty-two volunteers had their legs randomized in a within-subject design in TRAD (3-5 sets of 6-12 repetitions at 75% 1-RM), CP (3-5 sets of 6-15 repetitions at 65-85% 1-RM) and DS (3-5 sets of ~50-75% 1-RM to muscle failure) protocols. Each leg was trained for 12 weeks. Participants had one leg fixed in the TRAD while the contralateral leg performed either CP or DS to allow for TTV equalization. Results The CSA increased significantly and similarly for all protocols (TRAD: 7.6%; CP: 7.5%; DS: 7.8%). All protocols showed significant and similar increases in leg press (TRAD = 25.9%; CP = 25.9%; DS = 24.9%) and leg extension 1-RM loads (TRAD = 16.6%; CP = 16.4%; DS = 17.1%). All protocols increased PA (TRAD = 10.6%; CP = 11.0%; DS = 10.3%) and FL (TRAD = 8.9%; CP = 8.9%; DS = 9.1%) similarly. Conclusion CP and DS systems do not promote greater gains in strength muscle hypertrophy and changes in muscle architecture compared to traditional resistance training.
... It should be noted that in an earlier article by Schoenfeld (14), he cited only the previously described training study by Goto and colleagues (8). He claimed that the addition of the drop set to the standard protocol resulted in a significant increase in thigh muscle cross-sectional area compared with the standard protocol. ...
... There was no significant increase in thigh circumference in either training group. Consequently, the claims by Schoenfeld in both of his articles (14,31) regarding training recommendations to maximize muscle hypertrophy are without any scientific support-then and now. ...
... Schoenfeld (132) also claimed that studies showed that heavy eccentric muscle actions (accentuated negative resistance) can enhance the hypertrophic response and he cited his previously discussed article on specialized resistance training techniques (14). In that article he discussed in detail the specifics of eccentric training but stated only that heavy negatives (accentuated eccentric muscle actions combined with assisted concentric muscle actions) may produce an additional hypertrophic stimulus. ...
Presentation
Full-text available
Researchers have expressed concern recently for standardization of resistance training protocols so that valid comparisons of different training variables such as muscular fatigue, time under tension, pre-exhaust exercise and exercise order, pyramid and drop sets, amount of resistance (load), range of repetitions, frequency and volume of exercise, interset rest intervals, etc. can be more closely studied and compared. This Critical Commentary addresses some recent review articles and training studies specifically focused on the stimulus for muscle hypertrophy in participants with several years of resistance training experience. It reveals that many of the recommended resistance training protocols have their foundation in some long-held, self-described bias.
... It should be noted that in an earlier article by Schoenfeld (14), he cited only the previously described training study by Goto and colleagues (8). He claimed that the addition of the drop set to the standard protocol resulted in a significant increase in thigh muscle cross-sectional area compared with the standard protocol. ...
... There was no significant increase in thigh circumference in either training group. Consequently, the claims by Schoenfeld in both of his articles (14,31) regarding training recommendations to maximize muscle hypertrophy are without any scientific support-then and now. ...
... Schoenfeld (132) also claimed that studies showed that heavy eccentric muscle actions (accentuated negative resistance) can enhance the hypertrophic response and he cited his previously discussed article on specialized resistance training techniques (14). In that article he discussed in detail the specifics of eccentric training but stated only that heavy negatives (accentuated eccentric muscle actions combined with assisted concentric muscle actions) may produce an additional hypertrophic stimulus. ...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have expressed concern recently for standardization of resistance training protocols so that valid comparisons of different training variables such as muscular fatigue, time under tension, pre-exhaust exercise and exercise order, pyramid and drop sets, amount of resistance (load), range of repetitions, frequency and volume of exercise, interset rest intervals, etc. can be more closely studied and compared. This Critical Commentary addresses some recent review articles and training studies specifically focused on the stimulus for muscle hypertrophy in participants with several years of resistance training experience. It reveals that many of the recommended resistance training protocols have their foundation in some long-held, self-described bias. Blinding of assessors and statisticians, self-plagiarism, authorship responsibility, and conflicts of interest are briefly discussed as well. The conclusion is that most of the published peer-reviewed resistance training literature failed to provide any compelling evidence that the manipulation of any one or combination of the aforementioned variables can significantly affect the degree of muscle hypertrophy, especially in well-trained participants. Although the specific stimulus for optimal gains in muscle mass is unknown, many authors are desperately clinging to their unsupported belief that a greater volume of exercise will produce superior muscle hypertrophy.
... It should be noted that in an earlier article by Schoenfeld (14), he cited only the previously described training study by Goto and colleagues (8). He claimed that the addition of the drop set to the standard protocol resulted in a significant increase in thigh muscle cross-sectional area compared with the standard protocol. ...
... There was no significant increase in thigh circumference in either training group. Consequently, the claims by Schoenfeld in both of his articles (14,31) regarding training recommendations to maximize muscle hypertrophy are without any scientific support-then and now. ...
... Schoenfeld (132) also claimed that studies showed that heavy eccentric muscle actions (accentuated negative resistance) can enhance the hypertrophic response and he cited his previously discussed article on specialized resistance training techniques (14). In that article he discussed in detail the specifics of eccentric training but stated only that heavy negatives (accentuated eccentric muscle actions combined with assisted concentric muscle actions) may produce an additional hypertrophic stimulus. ...
Presentation
Full-text available
Researchers have expressed concern recently for standardization of resistance training protocols so that valid comparisons of different training variables such as muscular fatigue, time under tension, pre-exhaust exercise and exercise order, pyramid and drop sets, amount of resistance (load), range of repetitions, frequency and volume of exercise, interset rest intervals, etc. can be more closely studied and compared. This Critical Commentary addresses some recent review articles and training studies specifically focused on the stimulus for muscle hypertrophy in participants with several years of resistance training experience. It reveals that many of the recommended resistance training protocols have their foundation in some long-held, self-described bias.
... The magnitude of this morphological adaptation seems to be inversely proportional to the training status of the individuals, where resistance-trained individuals show a lower magnitude of muscle mass gains than untrained/detrained individuals [2]. Thus, resistance-trained individuals frequently use specialized RT techniques -such as rest-pause, drop-sets, pyramid, preexhaustion, accentuated eccentric overload, 3/7 method, among others -aiming to maximize training-induced muscle hypertrophy [3][4][5][6][7]. These approaches consider the manipulation of RT variables focusing on putting a greater overload into the muscles beyond that allowed by the conventional model, so such strategies may enhance metabolic stress and mechanical tension [4]. ...
... Thus, resistance-trained individuals frequently use specialized RT techniques -such as rest-pause, drop-sets, pyramid, preexhaustion, accentuated eccentric overload, 3/7 method, among others -aiming to maximize training-induced muscle hypertrophy [3][4][5][6][7]. These approaches consider the manipulation of RT variables focusing on putting a greater overload into the muscles beyond that allowed by the conventional model, so such strategies may enhance metabolic stress and mechanical tension [4]. In this context, some techniques result in a higher training volume and/or density, the same training volume in a shorter time [3,8]. ...
... Some RT practitioners also focus on putting greater intensity on the eccentric muscle actions like performing cheating-repetitions (where strict exercise form is abandoned) or forced-repetitions by the assistance of a spotter who helps to perform additional repetitions after the concentric failure is reached. With the application of these specialized techniques, it is proposed that greater mechanical tension and metabolic stress are achieved [4]. Also, carrying out more repetitions beyond the first interruption of concentric failure (by the performance of these specialized techniques) would be advantageous due to additional volume (e.g., number of repetitions) performed, and the increased possibility to recruit and fatigue an additional amount of muscle fibers -especially those of high-recruitment threshold, due to the size principle and the "motor unit substitution" -then, favoring to maximizing muscle hypertrophy [13,14]. ...
Article
Specialized resistance training techniques (e.g., drop-set, rest-pause) are commonly used by well-trained subjects for maximizing muscle hypertrophy. Most of these techniques were designed to allow a greater training volume (i.e., total repetitions x load), due to the supposition that it elicits greater muscle mass gains. However, many studies that compared the traditional resistance training configuration with specialized techniques seek to equalize the volume between groups, making it difficult to determine the inherent hypertrophic potential of these advanced strategies, as well as, this equalization restricts part of the practical extrapolation on these findings. In this scenario, the objectives of this manuscript were 1) to present the nuance of the evidence that deals with the effectiveness of these specialized resistance training techniques and – primarily – to 2) propose possible ways to explore the hypertrophic potential of such strategies with greater ecological validity without losing the methodological rigor of controlling possible intervening variables; and thus, contributing to increasing the applicability of the findings and improving the effectiveness of hypertrophy-oriented resistance training programs.
... Studies have shown in some instances that when drop-sets and back-off sets are used chronically, the hypertrophic responses between drop-set and traditional training protocols are similar in trained and untrained populations (2,25,29). The lack of a greater hypertrophic response from using drop-sets when compared to traditional training may be in part due to factors related to using the strategy including an increased potential for overtraining, accumulation of fatigue, psychological burn out, and variability of individuals' capacity to recover from failure training (16,36). Given that these aforementioned factors can influence the results of using such strategies, it is thus important to differentiate the implementation of drop-sets and backoff sets. ...
... Drop-sets require exercise sets be performed to muscular failure with a given load followed by an immediate load reduction and little to no rest period, allowing the individual to continue the exercise until failure is reached again for a desired set and rep goal (5,23,29,36). The drop-set strategy has been used primarily as an advanced training technique to reduce time spent training and promote hypertrophy (23,29,36). ...
... Drop-sets require exercise sets be performed to muscular failure with a given load followed by an immediate load reduction and little to no rest period, allowing the individual to continue the exercise until failure is reached again for a desired set and rep goal (5,23,29,36). The drop-set strategy has been used primarily as an advanced training technique to reduce time spent training and promote hypertrophy (23,29,36). Backoff sets can be used as a method for failure or nonfailure training, use a rest period in between exercise sets, and use smaller load reductions compared to the reductions necessary when training to failure with drop-sets. ...
... The most popular methods to determine training kilograms are repetitions maximum (RM) or percentage of 1RM (Reynolds et al., 2006;Bryanton et al., 2012;Aboodarda et al., 2013). Percentages of 1RM between 70 and 85% are commonly employed in resistance training programs (Kraemer et al., 2002;Schoenfeld, 2011). ...
... In order to overcome this biomechanical disadvantage, different techniques have been proposed such as forced repetitions, drop sets (Schoenfeld, 2011), accommodation, and use of variable resistance (EB or chains) (Kompf and Arandjelović, 2016). In particular, EB have been tested and identified as a suitable device due to providing lower loads during the more mechanical disadvantageous region of the range of motion (i.e. ...
... Loading the elastic resistance immediately above the squat sticking point compared to adding the load in the standing position could induce higher muscle fiber recruitment due to using more kilograms over more repetitions, which may lead to better chronic adaptations (Soria-Gila et al., 2015). Supporting this fact, increments in load for the same squat variation have been shown to produce a positive impact on muscle activation (Clark et al., 2012), and developing muscle strength has been closely related to greater force application, longer duration of muscle tension and a greater total amount of work (Schoenfeld, 2011;Bryanton et al., 2012;Aboodarda et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Modifying basal elongation of elastic bands (EB) has been proven useful to increase some parameters of the intensity in variable resistance training. Therefore, the question arises as to whether the pertinent resistance could be applied with EB immediately above the sticking point in squat exercises to optimize the performance. The purpose was to analyze some variables of the external (kilograms and number of repetitions) and internal load (heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of perceived exertion) after six different conditions of the squat exercise when using weight plates (WP) or EB (placed at different points of the range of motion) and applying maximal or submaximal effort. Twenty physically active males (25.50 ± 5.26 yrs) underwent two sessions for familiarization and one for assessment. The six conditions (three with WP and three with EB) were randomly performed. The sticking point of each subject was measured using the knee joint angle and the resistance was applied with EB at this height. Immediately after finishing each set subjects reported perceived effort rate and cardiovascular measurements were taken. Repetitions completed, and kilograms used were recorded. Repeated measures testing evaluated differences between conditions. EB permitted performing 8 more repetitions compared to WP when the same load was added at standing position. Adding the load immediately above the sticking point significantly (p < 0.05) increased 24.7% the kilograms used and permitted participants to perform 3 more repetitions. Internal load measurements suggested that EB could significantly (p < 0.05) reduce the perceived effort rate and/or physiological stress depending on their application. EB are a suitable device to load the bar for squat exercises in fit young men. According to the necessities of the subjects, if the load with EB is added at different points of the range of motion, it could be possible to overcome the sticking point, to maximize the performance and/or modulate cardiovascular and perceptual responses.
... There is little comparative research on these two strength training methods, but the few studies that have been conducted with drop sets have demonstrated positive effects. 3,6,8 In their review of relevant research, Willardson, Norton, and Wilson concluded that, "…training to failure and beyond with partner-assisted repetitions and descending sets might be most beneficial to hypertrophy-oriented training programs because of greater acute secretions of growth hormone." 8 Similarly, in another review on this topic, Brad Schoenfeld concluded that, "Evidence suggests a beneficial effect for selectively including forced reps, drop sets, supersets, and heavy negatives in hypertrophy-oriented resistance training routine. ...
... 8 Similarly, in another review on this topic, Brad Schoenfeld concluded that, "Evidence suggests a beneficial effect for selectively including forced reps, drop sets, supersets, and heavy negatives in hypertrophy-oriented resistance training routine. 6 However, the reviewers also noted that performing this type of training too frequently increases the risk for overreaching and overtraining, 6 as well as experiencing unfavorable changes in resting testosterone and cortisol levels that may actually limit muscle hypertrophy. ...
... 8 Similarly, in another review on this topic, Brad Schoenfeld concluded that, "Evidence suggests a beneficial effect for selectively including forced reps, drop sets, supersets, and heavy negatives in hypertrophy-oriented resistance training routine. 6 However, the reviewers also noted that performing this type of training too frequently increases the risk for overreaching and overtraining, 6 as well as experiencing unfavorable changes in resting testosterone and cortisol levels that may actually limit muscle hypertrophy. ...
... The most popular methods to determine training kilograms are repetitions maximum (RM) or percentage of 1RM (Reynolds et al., 2006;Bryanton et al., 2012;Aboodarda et al., 2013). Percentages of 1RM between 70 and 85% are commonly employed in resistance training programs (Kraemer et al., 2002;Schoenfeld, 2011). ...
... In order to overcome this biomechanical disadvantage, different techniques have been proposed such as forced repetitions, drop sets (Schoenfeld, 2011), accommodation, and use of variable resistance (EB or chains) (Kompf and Arandjelović, 2016). In particular, EB have been tested and identified as a suitable device due to providing lower loads during the more mechanical disadvantageous region of the range of motion (i.e. ...
... Loading the elastic resistance immediately above the squat sticking point compared to adding the load in the standing position could induce higher muscle fiber recruitment due to using more kilograms over more repetitions, which may lead to better chronic adaptations (Soria-Gila et al., 2015). Supporting this fact, increments in load for the same squat variation have been shown to produce a positive impact on muscle activation (Clark et al., 2012), and developing muscle strength has been closely related to greater force application, longer duration of muscle tension and a greater total amount of work (Schoenfeld, 2011;Bryanton et al., 2012;Aboodarda et al., 2013). ...
... In addition to these basic rules, a significant number of resistance training methodologies aimed at muscle development have been developed. Nevertheless, a paucity of research has examined both the acute and chronic responses entailed by such methodologies (Schoenfeld, 2011). Hackett et al. (2013) showed that after the traditional (above-mentioned) methodology, the most used hypertrophy methodologies are the pyramid (64% of survey respondent) and the supersets (61%). ...
... "leg curl" + "leg extension"). In spite of the popularity of these methodologies, not much is known about either the acute or the chronic responses entailed by each kind of training, even though it is considered as a specialised method for highly trained participants (Schoenfeld, 2011). Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify and compare, through different variables (physiological and perceptual), the acute fatigue caused by four different hypertrophy-oriented resistance training methodologies. ...
Article
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Muscle hypertrophy has been associated with both athletic performance and quality of life. Although hypertrophy-oriented resistance training methodologies are very popular, it is still unclear the different physiological and perceptual responses to some of these methodologies. The aim of this study was to compare the acute effects of four different hypertrophy-oriented resistance training methodologies. During four weeks, seventeen participants with experience in resistance training performed a once-a-week resistance training session, differing the methodology (traditional, pyramid, agonist supersets and reciprocal supersets). Acute responses to the different training sessions were measured via lactate concentration, peak velocity losses, rating of perceived exertion, and number of assisted repetitions. Both lactate concentration and rating of perceived exertion showed that the reciprocal supersets caused greater values compared with either the traditional or the pyramid methodologies. Although all of the methodologies led to significant decreases in peak velocity, these decreases were not different between methodologies. The results of the present study highlight the reciprocal supersets as being the most stressed methodology when talking about acute fatigue responses to a single training session. Further research is required to evaluate if these large acute fatigue effects could lead to greater muscle hypertrophy following a training intervention. RESUMEN La hipertrofia muscular ha sido asociada tanto con un mejor rendimiento deportivo como con una mejor calidad de vida. Aunque las metodologías de entrenamiento orientadas a la hipertrofia son muy populares, todavía no están claras las diferentes respuestas fisiológicas y perceptivas provocadas por varias metodologías. El objetivo de este estudio fue comparar los efectos agudos de cuatro metodologías diferentes de entrenamiento orientadas a la hipertrofia. Durante cuatro semanas, diecisiete participantes con experiencia en el entrenamiento de fuerza realizaron una sesión de entrenamiento semanal, difiriendo en la metodología utilizada (tradicional, pirámide, superseries recíprocas y superseries agonistas). Las respuestas agudas a las cuatro sesiones fueron medidas a través de la concentración de lactato, pérdidas en la velocidad del movimiento, percepción de esfuerzo subjetiva y número de repeticiones asistidas. Tanto la concentración de lactato como la percepción de esfuerzo mostraron que las superseries recíprocas causaron mayores valores comparado con la metodología tradicional y la pirámide. Aunque todas las metodologías conllevaron una pérdida significativa en la velocidad de movimiento, este descenso no fue diferente entre metodologías. Los resultados de este estudio destacan a la metodología de superseries recíprocas como la más estresante en cuanto a efectos de fatiga aguda tras una sesión de entrenamiento. Son necesarias más investigaciones para evaluar si este incremento en los efectos agudos de fatiga podría conllevar un mayor incremento de masa muscular tras un periodo de intervención.
... intensity, volume, exercise selection, joint angle, tempo) influence the acute responses [6,7]. Thus, coaches and athletes intentionally manipulate RT-variables within a session in order to optimize the session stimulus as well as training adaptations [1,8]. ...
... swelling, lactic acid accumulation) might impact skeletal muscle growth [2,3]. Furthermore, muscle activation is another key factor suggested to promote skeletal muscle adaptations [2,8,[12][13][14]. ...
Article
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There is a paucity of data on how manipulating joint angles during isolation exercises may impact overall session muscle activation and volume load in resistance-trained individuals. We investigated the acute effects of varying glenohumeral joint angle on the biceps brachii with a crossover repeated measure design with three di↵erent biceps curls. One session served as the positive control (CON), which subjects performed 9 sets of bicep curls with their shoulder in a neutral position. The experimental condition (VAR), varied the glenohumeral joint angle by performing 3 sets in shoulder extension (30), 3 sets neutral (0), and 3 sets in flexion (90). Volume load and muscle activation (EMG) were recorded during the training sessions. Muscle swelling and strain were assessed via muscle thickness and echo-intensity responses at pre, post, 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h. There were no significant di↵erences between conditions for most dependent variables. However, the overall session EMG amplitude was significantly higher (p = 0.0001) in VAR compared to CON condition (95%-CI: 8.4% to 23.3%). Our findings suggest that varying joint angles during resistance training (RT) may enhance total muscle activation without negatively affecting volume load within a training session in resistance-trained individuals.
... In addition to these basic rules, a significant number of resistance training methodologies aimed at muscle development have been developed. Nevertheless, a paucity of research has examined both the acute and chronic responses entailed by such methodologies (Schoenfeld, 2011). Hackett et al. (2013) showed that after the traditional (above-mentioned) methodology, the most used hypertrophy methodologies are the pyramid (64% of survey respondent) and the supersets (61%). ...
... "leg curl" + "leg extension"). In spite of the popularity of these methodologies, not much is known about either the acute or the chronic responses entailed by each kind of training, even though it is considered as a specialised method for highly trained participants (Schoenfeld, 2011). Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify and compare, through different variables (physiological and perceptual), the acute fatigue caused by four different hypertrophy-oriented resistance training methodologies. ...
... Although training percentages or repetition ranges can be varied in a periodized manner, advanced training techniques may provide additional hypertrophic benefit. Drop sets, where training load is progressively decreased on subsequent sets with little to no rest once the point of fatigue or technical failure is achieved at each training load, may provide the best of both worlds (27). Training load can be maximized initially to capitalize on type II fiber activation; however, as fatigue sets in, training loads can be progressively decreased to increase the TUT to maximally stimulate the type I fibers. ...
... In addition, rest-pause training, where a set with a given training load is extended beyond the point of fatigue by taking small rests within the set, may provide a similar benefit by increasing the duration of loading. Care must be taken when using these techniques to balance the need for increased muscle recruitment and TUT to promote optimal hypertrophy against the potential for elevated levels of fatigue and overuse (27). ...
Article
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EMERGING EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT TYPE I FIBERS DISPLAY A SUBSTANTIAL PROPENSITY FOR GROWTH IF THEY ARE SELECTIVELY TARGETED VIA LOW-LOAD TRAINING. THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE WILL BE TO REVIEW THE RESEARCH REGARDING FIBER TYPE-SPECIFIC HYPERTROPHY AND DRAW EVIDENCE-BASED CONCLUSIONS AS TO THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR PROGRAM DESIGN. Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association.
... For example, beginning a drop set of barbell biceps curls with a 60-pound barbell, and reducing the weight 5-10 pounds at the conclusion of each set without rest between sets. These lifts were included due to their tendency to increase hypertrophic characteristics of exercises by increasing time under tension (Schoenfeld, 2011) [34]. ...
... For example, beginning a drop set of barbell biceps curls with a 60-pound barbell, and reducing the weight 5-10 pounds at the conclusion of each set without rest between sets. These lifts were included due to their tendency to increase hypertrophic characteristics of exercises by increasing time under tension (Schoenfeld, 2011) [34]. ...
Article
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Resistance exercise is the performance of physical exercises designed to improve strength, muscular, endurance, hypertrophy, and neuromuscular efficiency with the use of weights (Braith & Stewart, 2006)[1]. Resistance exercise has long been utilized for its beneficial health qualities and propensity to elicit certain desired physiological changes (Fry, 2004)[2]. There has been a recent, and significant, increase in resistance exercise activity in American adults (NCHS, 2018)[3] attributable to factors such as autonomous compulsion and self fulfilment to extrinsic factors like health and physical appearance (Fisher et al., 2017; Heinrich et al., 2014; Ingledew & Markland, 2008)[4,5,6]. As such, there is an ever-increasing need for educational material regarding resistance exercise, its benefits, purpose, and manner in which it should be conducted. Purpose-to (a) provide resistance exercise-based educational material regarding the background and rationale behind resistance training; (b) to provide a specific resistance-based exercise program to elicit strength gain; (c) to provide individuals with the knowledge to safely and effectively engage in said program; and (d) to provide the participant with expected physiological adaptations to completing the program. Methods-Two 6-week, 5-day per week resistance exercise programs-with a brief nutritional guide accompaniment-are outlined for a hypothetical participant, age 25-40, of moderate experience with fitness training, and with the goal of strength gain and moderate fat loss as a secondary goal. Results-Anticipated benefits of the program include: increased maximal strength caused by training above 85% 1RM for 2-6 sets of 1-6 reps; increased synergistic muscle groups strength which will contribute to improved prime mover strength; hypertrophy of skeletal muscles throughout the body, induced by lifts of 67-85% 1 rep max (RM) for 3-6 sets of 6-12 reps and increased resting energy expenditure (basal metabolic rate) accompanied by improved body composition. Conclusion-Continued progression though this protocol with modifications to resistance include potential improved running speed, explosive power potential, and other anaerobic sport performance factors, as well as enhanced neuromuscular efficiency associated with increased prime mover force production capabilities.
... In addition, since ECC only training requires the assistance of either a trainer or training partner we suggest it is not performed in high frequency. This research design served to reach MF for CONC training but also utilise the hypothesised greater motor unit fatigue and potential greater adaptations by training to ECC MF (Schoenfeld, 2011). Further, as ECC only training is predominantly used as an adjunct to traditional CON training by trained persons it was felt that this represented a more ecologically valid examination of its application. ...
... The data presented suggest that performing additional heavy ECC only or repetition duration-accentuated ECC only RT produces no greater gains in muscular performance improvement beyond that of Hypotheses have been proposed that since muscles can produce a greater force during ECC contractions true MF does not occur during the CONC phase of an exercise (Willardson, 2007). As such authors have suggested that training to ECC MF or using greater loads for ECC muscle actions could promote greater motor unit fatigue and thus elicit greater muscular adaptations (Schoenfeld, 2011). Whilst this hypothesis seems logical (and might have application with regards to muscle hypertrophy), previous studies, which have However, analyses did reveal a statistically significant difference between CON and ECC only groups for PD exercise in favour of greater muscular performance adaptation for the CON group in absolute muscular endurance (p = 0.035; ESs were 1.48 and 2.00 for ECC and CON, respectively). ...
Article
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Research has produced equivocal results with regard to eccentric (ECC) only compared to traditional concentric: eccentric resistance training (RT). When considered in relation to load- and repetition duration-accentuated (ECC) training, as well as the use of isokinetic and isointerial training methods there is a relative dearth of literature considering multi-joint, multi-exercise RT interventions. The present study considered fifty-nine male and female participants randomly divided in to 3 sex counterbalanced groups; ECC only (ECC, n=20), repetition duration-accentuated ECC (ECC-A, n=20), and traditional (CON, n=19) performing full body, effort matched RT programmes 2 d.wk-1 for 10 weeks. Outcomes were muscular performance including absolute muscular endurance and predicted 1-repetition maximum (RM), in addition to body composition. No significant between groups differences were identified for change in muscular performance measures for leg press or chest press exercises, or for body composition changes. Analyses revealed a significantly greater improvement for CON compared to ECC groups (p < 0.05) for change in absolute muscular endurance for the pull-down exercise. Effect sizes for muscular performance changes were moderate to large for all groups and exercises (0.75-2.00). The present study supports previous research that ECC only training produces similar improvements in muscular performance to traditional training where intensity of effort is controlled. Data herein further supports the use of uncomplicated, low volume RT to momentary failure as an efficacious method of improving muscular performance in trained persons.
... Volume load has been considered an important training-variable to optimize training-induced adaptations. It has been suggested that different strength-training techniques could potentiate volume load responses 1 . In addition blood lactate response has been shown to correlate with volume 2 . ...
Poster
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Volume load has been considered an important training-variable in order to optimize training-induced adaptations. In addition, it has been suggested that different strength-training techniques could potentiate volume load responses. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine which training techniques optimizes volume load responses in resistance trained individuals.
... superset, compound sets, etc.) [6]. These methods are based on increasing rest between sets and exercises, changing the exercise order or muscle groups [7]. A method called continuous-sets is common in RT programs [8] and consists of performing all sets of each exercise sequentially. ...
Article
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The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the acute subjective responses to a single RT session with continuous-and grouped-sets distributions in resistance-trained men. There were three sessions in a crossover/random fashion. On the first session, all subjects were familiarized and their biceps curl 10RM load was determined. The sessions were randomized for continuous-or grouped-sets distributions. For continuous-sets, 8 sets of 10RM were performed sequentially, while for grouped-sets, they performed two blocks of 4 sets of 10RM with 12-min of rest between blocks. Two minutes of rest was given between sets. Volume load and maximal number of repetitions were measured in both distributions. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was recorded 10 minutes after the 8th set for each distribution. Affective response was recorded before and 10 minutes after each distribution. Repetitions in reserve (RIR) were recorded after each set for each distribution. Results demonstrated a progressive reduction in the maximal number of repetitions performed during continuous-sets (P<0.05). However, for grouped-sets, there was a progressive reduction in the maximal number of repetitions performed from the 1st to the 4th set (P<0.05), and from the 5th to the 8th set (P<0.05), and a significantly greater volume load for continuous-sets vs. grouped-sets (3292±809 kgf vs. 3692±891 kgf; P<0.001, respectively). Also, there was significantly greater RPE for continuous-sets vs. grouped-sets (9.37±1.06AU vs. 8.12±1.96AU; P=0.026). There were not differences in RIR between both distributions, while AR showed a reduction for both distributions (continuous-sets pre 3.31±1.92 vs. post 0.37±2.55; P=0.001), and grouped-sets (pre 3.37±1.50 vs. post 0.62±2.72; P=0.006). These findings demonstrate that grouped-sets allow more repetitions and greater volume load. However, continuous-sets distribution produces greater RPE but similar RIR when compared to grouped-sets, while both distributions negatively affect AR after a RT session. Subjective scales are commonly used in resistance training (RT) programs to monitor exercise intensity, level of effort, training load, or progression [1]. Studies have shown that subjective scales are sensitive to changes in the acute variables of strength and to different populations [2,3], and could be used as an additional factor controlling loads applied in both clinical and exercise settings [4,5]. There are several different subjective scales available in the scientific literature aiming to control training load or exercise (i.e. rate of perceived exertion (RPE), repetitions in reserve (RIR), and affective response to exercise (AR)).
... Previous research provides emerging evidence that besides mechanical stress, metabolic stress is an important trigger for muscle hypertrophy (Schoenfeld, 2013). Indeed, increased protein synthesis (Burd et al., 2012), muscle fibre recruitment (Carpinelli, 2008;Schoenfeld, 2011), hormonal responses and muscle cell swelling (Schoenfeld, 2013) might occur after exposure to large metabolic stress. Low-load high-repetition RT is believed to cause a marked accumulation of metabolic by-products like blood lactate leading to an acidification and ultimately to the activation of chemoreceptors stimulating the release of growth hormone (GH) in the hypothalamic-pituitary system (Takarada et al., 2000). ...
Article
We investigated the effects of volume-matched resistance training (RT) with different training loads and rest intervals on acute responses and long-term muscle and strength gains. Ten subjects trained with short rest (30 s) combined with low load (20 RM) (SL) and ten subjects performed the same protocol with long rest (3 min) and high load (8 RM) (LH). Cross-sectional area (CSA) of the upper arm was measured by magnetic resonance imaging before and after 8 weeks of training. Acute stress markers such as growth hormone (GH) and muscle thickness (MT) changes have been assessed pre and post a single RT session. Only the SL group demonstrated significant increases in GH (7704·20 ± 11833·49%, P<0·05) and MT (35·2 ± 16·9%, P<0·05) immediately after training. After 8 weeks, the arm CSA s in both groups significantly increased [SL: 9·93 ± 4·86% (P<0·001), LH: 4·73 ± 3·01% (P<0·05)]. No significant correlation between acute GH elevations and CSA increases could be observed. We conclude that short rest combined with low-load training might induce a high amount of metabolic stress ultimately leading to improved muscle hypertrophy while long rest with high-load training might lead to superior strength increases. Acute GH increases seem not to be directly correlated with muscle hypertrophy.
... However, athletes are often unable to commit prolonged periods of time to resistance training due to other training requirements (e.g., skill development and other conditioning priorities) (Phibbs et al. 2017). Therefore, resistance training protocols such as supersets (SS) (i.e., the completion of two exercises consecutively followed by a recovery period) and tri-sets (TRI) (i.e., the completion of three exercises consecutively followed by a recovery period) that enhance training efficiency (i.e., kilograms lifted per minute) may be an effective mechanism to provide an appropriate resistance training stimulus, in a short period of time (Sabido et al. 2016;Schoenfeld 2011). ...
Article
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Purpose: Investigate the acute and short-term (i.e., 24 h) effects of traditional (TRAD), superset (SS), and tri-set (TRI) resistance training protocols on perceptions of intensity and physiological responses. Methods: Fourteen male participants completed a familiarisation session and three resistance training protocols (i.e., TRAD, SS, and TRI) in a randomised-crossover design. Rating of perceived exertion, lactate concentration ([Lac]), creatine kinase concentration ([CK]), countermovement jump (CMJ), testosterone, and cortisol concentrations was measured pre, immediately, and 24-h post the resistance training sessions with magnitude-based inferences assessing changes/differences within/between protocols. Results: TRI reported possible to almost certainly greater efficiency and rate of perceived exertion, although session perceived load was very likely lower. SS and TRI had very likely to almost certainly greater lactate responses during the protocols, with changes in [CK] being very likely and likely increased at 24 h, respectively. At 24-h post-training, CMJ variables in the TRAD protocol had returned to baseline; however, SS and TRI were still possibly to likely reduced. Possible increases in testosterone immediately post SS and TRI protocols were reported, with SS showing possible increases at 24-h post-training. TRAD and SS showed almost certain and likely decreases in cortisol immediately post, respectively, with TRAD reporting likely decreases at 24-h post-training. Conclusions: SS and TRI can enhance training efficiency and reduce training time. However, acute and short-term physiological responses differ between protocols. Athletes can utilise SS and TRI resistance training, but may require additional recovery post-training to minimise effects of fatigue.
... The potential hypertrophic benefits to eccentric training raise the possibility that muscular growth could be enhanced by supplementing RT with eccentric overload training (23). ...
Article
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It has been postulated that eccentric actions have the greatest effect on muscle hypertrophy. The potential hypertrophic benefits to eccentric training raise the possibility that muscular growth could be enhanced by supplementing resistance training with eccentric overload training. Herein we examine whether this strategy is efficacious for enhancing muscle growth.
... Optimal prescription of resistance training programs relies on proper organization of training variables such as frequency, intensity, volume, rest intervals, velocity, choice and order of exercise, and periodization 1,2 . Previous research has demonstrated the importance of varying training methods to provide increasing and consistent results [3][4][5] . One of these methods consists of performing an exercise that requires simultaneous actions of contralateral muscles that perform opposite movements, for example, the right elbow flexors and the left elbow extensors 6 . ...
Article
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Aim the aim was to investigate the influence of a maximal isometric muscle action of the elbow extensors on the contralateral dynamic task of the elbow flexors. Methods Seventeen recreationally trained men (23.3 ± 4.9 yrs, BMI: 24.8 ± 2.2 Kg/m²) underwent two randomized different testing sessions separated by one week. In the control session (CON) all subjects performed a maximum number of repetitions test (RMs) at 75%1RM using the right elbow flexors. The experimental session (EXP) was similar to the CON; however, all subjects were instructed to perform RMs at 75%1RM by using the right elbow flexors and maintaining the maximal voluntary contraction of the left elbow extensors during the test. RMs, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and training volume (TV) were measured and compared between sessions. Results The EXP showed a significant 10.4% increase on the RMs (13.8 vs. 12.5, p < 0.001, d = 0.44) and 12.1% increase in TV (238.0 vs. 212.4 kg, p < 0.001, d = 0.43) than CON. No differences were observed for RPE between sessions. Conclusion The maximum voluntary contraction of the left elbow extensors increased the RMs of the contralateral elbow flexors, reflecting a higher TV, and no differences in the RPE. Our results suggest that the investigated method may be a viable and practical alternative to increase the acute strength performance of elbow flexors when using submaximal loads.
... Weightlifting is widely used for various health benefits such as sports [1], injury rehabilitation, maintenance of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness [2], and the development of muscle hypertrophy and shaping [3]. It is estimated that almost 45 million Americans are regularly engaged in weight training programs [4]. ...
Article
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Background: Isokinetic strength imbalance is a risk factor for movement dysfunctions and injuries related to shoulder complex. The effects of recreational weightlifting on developing the imbalances between the shoulder muscles are not yet known. Objectives: To investigate the isokinetic concentric shoulder muscle strength values (peak torque normalized to body weight) in recreational weightlifters (RWL) and to compare the shoulder muscles agonist/antagonist ratios with nonweightlifters. Methods: Thirty male RWL with mean age, weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) of 21.56 years, 84.25 kg, 175.34 cm, and 26.51 kg/m2, respectively, matched with nonweightlifters served as a control group. The normalized concentric peak torque values of shoulder flexors, extensors, abductors, adductors, and internal and external rotators were measured at angular velocity 120°/sec by using Biodex isokinetic system. Moreover, the agonist/antagonist strength ratio for all muscle groups were calculated. Results: The normalized peak torques of RWL group were significantly greater than the control group (p < 0.05). The abductor/adductor and external rotator/internal rotator ratios of the RWL were significantly lower than the control group (p = 0.008 and 0.009, respectively). Conversely, there was no significant difference between both groups in relation to the flexor/extensor ratio (p = 0.259). Conclusion: These results suggested that the recreational weightlifting exercises place trainees at risk of muscle imbalances. Therefore, the restoration of a normal concentric abductor/adductor and external rotator/internal rotator strength ratios may decrease the risk of possible shoulder injury.
... Moreover, the additional volume performed by the subject to bring up "lagging" muscle groups is in line with evidencebased recommendations (21). The subject's use of intensification techniques such as eccentric overload, supersets, and partial repetitions also mirrors that of general practices reported by competitive bodybuilders (18), as well as having some basis in evidence-based practice (42). Finally, the subject used a form of periodization to manipulate training variables, which has been recommended in the literature as an important pre-contest strategy to optimize results (21). ...
Article
Tinsley, GM, Trexler, ET, Smith-Ryan, AE, Paoli, A, Graybeal, AJ, Campbell, BI, and Schoenfeld, BJ. Changes in body composition and neuromuscular performance through preparation, two competitions, and a recovery period in an experienced female physique athlete. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2018-This prospective case study evaluated an experienced female figure competitor during contest preparation, 2 competitions, and a recovery period. Twelve laboratory sessions were conducted over 8 months. At each visit, body composition was assessed by 4-compartment model, resting metabolic rate (RMR) by indirect calorimetry, and neuromuscular performance by peak force and rate of force development (RFD) on a mechanized squat device. Caloric intake ranged from 965 to 1,610 kcal·d (16.1-24.8 kcal·kg·BM; 18.2-31.1 kcal·kg·FFM), with varying macronutrient intakes (CHO: 0.3-4.8 g·kg; PRO: 1.7-3.0 g·kg; and FAT: 0.2-0.5 g·kg). Body fat was reduced from 20.3 to 12.2% before the first competition and declined to 11.6% before the second competition. Fat-free mass increased by 2.1% before the first competition and peaked at 4.6% above baseline in the recovery period. Resting metabolic rate decreased from 1,345 kcal·d at baseline to a low value of 1,119 kcal·d between competitions. By the end of recovery, RMR increased to 1,435 kcal·d. Concentric and eccentric peak forces declined by up to 19% before the first competition, experienced perturbations in the inter-competition and recovery periods, and remained 5-8% below baseline at study termination. Similarly, RFD decreased by up to 57% before the first competition, was partially recovered, but remained 39% lower than baseline at study termination. Despite favorable body composition changes, neuromuscular performance was impaired during and after the competitive season in an experienced female physique competitor.
... Muscle hypertrophy induced by PRT is the product of increased muscle fiber cross-sectional area [92] and is accompanied by the enhancement of subcellular structures (e.g. mitochondrial morphology and density) and increased substrate metabolism. ...
Article
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Prostate cancer has the second highest incidence of all cancers amongst men worldwide. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) remains a common form of treatment. However, in reducing serum testosterone to castrate levels and rendering men hypogonadal, ADT contributes to a myriad of adverse effects which can affect prostate cancer prognosis. Physical activity is currently recommended as synergistic medicine in prostate cancer patients to alleviate the adverse effects of treatment. Progressive resistance training (PRT) is an anabolic exercise modality which may be of benefit in prostate cancer patients given its potency in maintaining and positively adapting skeletal muscle. However, currently, there is a scarcity of RCTs which have evaluated the use of isolated PRT in counteracting the adverse effects of prostate cancer treatment. Moreover, although physical activity in general has been found to reduce relapse rates and improve survival in prostate cancer, the precise anti-oncogenic effects of specific exercise modalities, including PRT, have not been fully established. Thus, the overall objective of this article is to provide a rationale for the in-depth investigation of PRT and its biological effects in men with prostate cancer on ADT. This will be achieved by (1) summarising the metabolic effects of ADT in patients with prostate cancer and its effect on prostate cancer progression and prognosis, (2) reviewing the existing evidence regarding the metabolic benefits of PRT in this cohort, (3) exploring the possible oncological pathways by which PRT can affect prostate cancer prognosis and progression and (4) outlining avenues for future research.
... The drop set method is largely based on the premise that muscles are not fully fatigued when sets are carried out to MMF, as they are still capable of producing force at lower loads [3]. Thus, performing additional repetitions at a decreased magnitude of load immediately after reaching muscle failure in a set may elicit heightened fatigue of muscle fibers, potentially leading to a superior anabolic response [4]. In addition, the combination of a high number of repetitions performed with minimal rest periods induces high levels of metabolic stress [2], which has been theorized as a potential stimulus for hypertrophic gains [5]. ...
Article
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The study aimed to compare the effects of drop set resistance training (RT) versus traditional RT on markers of maximal muscle strength and regional hypertrophy of the quadriceps femoris. Sixteen recreationally active young men had one leg randomly assigned to the drop-set method (DS) and the other to training in a traditional manner (TRAD). Participants performed unilateral seated leg extensions using a periodized approach for eight weeks. Rectus femoris (RF) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscle thickness (MT), estimated one repetition maximum (RM) in the unilateral knee extension, and peak and average isokinetic knee extension torque at 60◦/s angular velocity were measured pre- and post-study. Both conditions increased muscle thickness of the RF and VL from preto post-intervention. DS showed statistically greater increases in the RF at 30% and 50% of muscle length, whereas no MT differences were detected at 70% muscle length nor at any aspect of the VL. Both DS and TRAD increased estimated one RM from pre- to post-study (+34.6% versus +32.0%, respectively) with no between-condition differences noted. Both conditions showed similar increases in peak torque (DS: +21.7%; TRAD: +22.5%) and average torque (DS: +23.6%; TRAD: +22.5%) from pre- to post-study. Our findings indicate a potential benefit of the drop-set method for inducing non-uniform hypertrophic gains in the RF muscle pursuant to leg extension training. The strategy did not promote an advantage in improving hypertrophy of the VL, nor in strength-related measures, compared to traditional training
... Some researchers have speculated that the use of different RT systems may create a favorable anabolic milieu that could enhance muscular gains (Schoenfeld 2011;Fink et al. 2018;Ozaki et al. 2018;Prestes et al. 2019). For example, DS increases metabolic stress due to the high number of repetitions performed consecutively until concentric failure (Fink et al. 2018;Ozaki et al. 2018). ...
Article
Novelty bullets: points that summarize the key findings in the work: Rest-pause elicited a slightly superior benefit for strength adaptations compared to traditional resistance training., Resistance training systems do not promote superior hypertrophic adaptations when total training volume is equalized., Muscle thickness in distal portion of thigh are similar to baseline. Although modest, effect sizes tended to favor rest-pause.
... Some researchers have speculated that the use of different RT systems may create a favorable anabolic milieu that could enhance muscular gains (Schoenfeld 2011;Fink et al. 2018;Ozaki et al. 2018;Prestes et al. 2019). For example, DS increases metabolic stress due to the high number of repetitions performed consecutively until concentric failure (Fink et al. 2018;Ozaki et al. 2018). ...
Article
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This paper aimed to compare the effect of drop-set (DS) and rest-pause (RP) systems versus traditional resistance training (TRT) with equalized total training volume on maximum dynamic strength (1RM) and thigh muscle thickness (MT). Twenty-eight resistance-trained males were randomly assigned to either RP (n = 10), DS (n = 9) or TRT (n = 9) protocols performed twice a week for 8 weeks. 1RM and MT of the proximal, middle and distal portions of the lateral thigh were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. A significant time × group interaction was observed for 1RM (P = 0.001) in the barbell back squat after 8-weeks. Post hoc comparisons revealed that RP promoted higher 1RM than TRT (P = 0.001); no statistical differences in strength were observed between the other conditions. A significant main effect of time was revealed for MT at the proximal (P = 0.0001) and middle (P = 0.0001) aspects of the lateral thigh for all training groups; however, the distal portion did not show a time effect (P = 0.190). There were no between-group interactions for MT. Our findings suggest that RP promotes slightly superior strength-related improvements compared with TRT, but hypertrophic adaptations are similar between conditions. Novelty: Rest-pause elicited a slightly superior benefit for strength adaptations compared with traditional resistance training. Resistance training systems do not promote superior hypertrophic adaptations when total training volume is equalized. Muscle thickness in distal portion of thigh is similar to baseline. Although modest, effect sizes tended to favor rest-pause.
... Although, there are numerous acute programming variables (e.g., load, volume [repetitions 3 load], and recovery between sets) that can be manipulated to promote exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy. To further enhance muscle hypertrophy, the use of advanced training techniques such as drop sets, supersets, and forced repetition sets have been advocated (32) and are reportedly performed by bodybuilders (1,13). Bodybuilders also reportedly perform split-training routines, where muscle groups are trained either once (5-day split) or twice (3-day split) per week compared with whole-body sessions where all major muscles are trained in every session (7,29). ...
Article
Hackett, DA Training, supplementation, and pharmacological practices of competitive male bodybuilders across training phases. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2021-Bodybuilding involves the pursuit of muscularity and leanness primarily through the use of progressive resistance training in combination with other practices such as manipulation of diet and use of ergogenic aids. This study aimed to compare the training practices and ergogenic aids used by competitive male bodybuilders across training phases. An online survey was completed by 235 competitive male bodybuilders with a median age of 26.0 (interquartile range 23.0-31.3) years. Results showed that most respondents performed split-routines (85.5%), 4-7 sessions per week (95.7%), trained major muscle groups twice a week (>50%), and session duration being 60-90 minutes (55.7%). Off-season resistance training sessions mostly comprised of targeting 2-3 muscle groups (56%), 2-3 exercises per muscle group (60.4%), 3-4 sets per exercise (73.2%), 7-12 repetition maximum (RM) per set (71.6%), and 61-180 seconds recovery between sets and exercises (80.5%). At the precompetition phase (6 weeks before competition), there was a decrease in the number of muscle groups trained per session (p = 0.027) and a greater number of repetitions performed per set (p < 0.001). A significant increase in the reported aerobic exercise volume was found during precompetition (<0.001). Performance enhancing drugs were used by 53.6% of respondents who did not compete in natural bodybuilding competitions. Dietary supplements were used by 95.7% of respondents with the most common being creatine monohydrate (80.4%) and whey protein (65.8%). Findings suggest that competitive bodybuilders follow resistance training practices consistent with the broad muscular hypertrophy recommendations but a notable shift in practices occur in the weeks before competition.
... This results in the accumulation of intramuscular metabolites, which is believed to have positive changes in the anabolic environment along with the combination of hormonal factors such as the growth hormone (GH), testosterone, cellular hydration, free radical production, as well as growth-oriented transcription factor activity [11]. Low pH is associated with rapid glycolysis stimulates sympathetic nerve activity and increases fiber degradation [12]. ...
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Tricet method of weight training is an exercise that involves using three types of tools to train one group muscle in the sequence order, but with different types of exercises for each set and without breaks between sets. Exercise with this method is able to provide maximum response to a group of muscles that are trained so that the potential for muscle development is more optimal. This paper investigates this method by giving a treatment in the form of weight training with the tricet method to be carried out 3 times a week, with exercise intensity of 70% to 80% or One Maximum Repetition (1RM), 3 sets, and 8-12 repetitions with the aim of increasing muscle hypertrophy. The results of the pre and post-test hypertrophy t -test analysis of arm, chest, thigh, and calf muscles in the experimental group showed a significant difference ( p < 0.05). This investigation concluded that weight training based on the tricet method is able to increase hypertrophy over body large muscle.
... superset, compound sets, etc.) [27]. These methods are based on increasing rest between sets, changing the exercise order or muscle groups [23]. A method called continuous-sets is common in RT programs, and consists of performing all sets of each exercise sequentially with a fixed rest interval. ...
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The aim of the present study was to compare acute neuromuscular responses and muscle thickness of a resistance training session with continuous-vs. grouped-sets. The experimental procedures were performed across three sessions in a crossover and random fashion. During the first session, all subjects were familiarized and the 10RM load was determined for both exercises: biceps curl (BC) and triceps extension (TE). The following two sessions were randomized for continuous-or grouped-sets. For continuous-sets, 8 sets of 10RM for each exercise (BC and TE) were performed sequentially, while for grouped-sets, each exercise was alternated every 4 sets until 8 sets of 10RM for each exercise were completed. Two minutes of rest was used between sets and exercises. Volume load and muscle thickness (biceps brachii, MT BB , and triceps brachii, MT TB) were measured pre-and post-exercise. Peak force and myoelectric activity (iEMG) were measured for each exercise (BC and TE) and each muscle (biceps brachii and triceps brachii) during a maximal voluntary isometric contraction test. Results demonstrated that volume load was significantly greater in grouped-sets for both exercises (P<0.001). MT BB and MT TB increased after both sessions (P<0.001), however, there was a greater effect with continuous-sets when compared to grouped-sets (P=0.001). Peak force decreased for both exercises and sets (P<0.05). iEMG decreased only after continuous-sets for both muscles (P<0.001). In conclusion, continuous-and grouped-sets resulted in specific neuromuscular responses and similar muscle thickness for prime movers. Continuous-sets decreased peak force, volume load, and muscle activity, and increased muscle thickness, while grouped-sets decreased peak force and maintained a high volume load.
... Drop sets involve performing a set to volitional fatigue with a given load and then immediately reducing the load (e.g., ~20%) and continuing the exercise until subsequent volitional fatigue [76]. Briefly, the rationale for this technique is high metabolic stress induced due to a high number of repetitions performed with short rest intervals. ...
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Background: Effective hypertrophy-oriented resistance training (RT) should comprise a combination of mechanical tension and metabolic stress. Regarding training variables, the most effective values are widely described in the literature. However, there is still a lack of consensus regarding the efficiency of advanced RT techniques and methods in comparison to traditional approaches. Methods: MEDLINE and SPORTDiscus databases were searched from 1996 to September 2019 for all studies investigating the effects of advanced RT techniques and methods on muscle hypertrophy and training variables. Thirty articles met the inclusion criteria and were consequently included for the quality assessment and data extraction. Results: Concerning the time-efficiency of training, the use of agonist-antagonist, upper-lower body supersets, drop and cluster sets, sarcoplasma stimulating training, employment of fast, but controlled duration of eccentric contractions (~2s), and high-load RT supplemented with low-load RT under blood flow restriction may provide an additional stimulus and an advantage to traditional training protocols. With regard to the higher degree of mechanical tension, the use of accentuated eccentric loading in RT should be considered. Implementation of drop sets, sarcoplasma stimulating training, low-load RT in conjunction with low-load RT under blood flow restriction could provide time-efficient solutions to increased metabolic stress. Conclusions: Due to insufficient evidence, it is difficult to provide specific guidelines for volume, intensity of effort, and frequency of previously mentioned RT techniques and methods. However, well-trained athletes may integrate advanced RT techniques and methods into their routines as an additional stimulus to break through plateaus and to prevent training monotony.
... It has been suggested that advanced training techniques (ATT) may properly manipulate training volume, muscle activation, and metabolic stress in order to maximize strength training-induced adaptations [10]. The most frequent ATT used by practitioners and strength coaches are supersets, forced repetitions, and pre-exhaustion. ...
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This study investigated the effects of advanced training techniques (ATT) on muscular responses and if performing a second training session would negatively affect the training stimulus. Eleven strength-trained males performed a traditional strength training session (TST) and four different ATT: pre-exhaustion A (PE-A), pre-exhaustion B (PE-B), forced repetitions (FR), and super-set (SS). On day 1, SS produced lower volume load than TST, FR, and PE-B (16.0%, p=0.03; 14.9, p= 0.03 and 18.2%, p=0.01, respectively). On day 2, SS produced lower volumes than all the other ATT (9.73-18.5%, p=0.03). Additionally, subjects demonstrated lower perceived exertion on day 1 compared to day 2 (6.5 ± 0.4 AU vs. 8.7 ± 0.3 AU, p = 0.0001). For blood lactate concentration [La-] on days 1 and 2, [La-] after the tenth set was the highest compared to all other time points (baseline: 1.7 ± 0.2, fifth-set: 8.7 ± 1.0, tenth-set 9.7 ± 0.9, post-5 min: 8.7 ± 0.7 mmol·L 1 , p=0.0001). Acute muscle swelling was greater immediately and 30-min post compared to baseline (p=0.0001). On day 2, electromyography (EMG) amplitude on the clavicular head of the pectoralis major was lower for SS than TST, PEA , and PE-B (11.7%, p=0.01; 14.4%, p=0.009; 20.9%, p = 0.0003, respectively). Detrimental effects to the training stimulus were not observed when ATT (besides SS) are repeated. Strength trained individuals can sustain performance, compared to TST, when they are using ATT in an acute fashion. Although ATT have traditionally been used as a means to optimize metabolic stress, volume load, and neuromuscular responses, our data did not project differences in these variables compared to TST. However, it is important to note that different ATT might produce slight changes in volume load, muscle excitation, and fluid accumulation in strength-trained individuals from session to session.
Article
To investigate the effects of a single high-load (80% of one repetition maximum [1RM]) set with additional drop sets descending to a low-load (30% 1RM) without recovery intervals on muscle strength, endurance, and size in untrained young men. Nine untrained young men performed dumbbell curls to concentric failure 2-3 days per week for 8 weeks. Each arm was randomly assigned to one of the following three conditions: 3 sets of high-load (HL, 80% 1RM) resistance exercise, 3 sets of low-load [LL, 30% 1RM] resistance exercise, and a single high-load (SDS) set with additional drop sets descending to a low-load. The mean training time per session, including recovery intervals, was lowest in the SDS condition. Elbow flexor muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) increased similarly in all three conditions. Maximum isometric and 1RM strength of the elbow flexors increased from pre to post only in the HL and SDS conditions. Muscular endurance measured by maximum repetitions at 30% 1RM increased only in the LL and SDS conditions. A SDS resistance training program can simultaneously increase muscle CSA, strength, and endurance in untrained young men, even with lower training time compared to typical resistance exercise protocols using only high- or low-loads.
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A manipulação do volume e da densidade no treinamento de força é realizada através do gerenciamento do número de séries realizadas em cada grupamento muscular e como essas séries são alocadas na sessão e na semana de treinamento. A manipulação dessas variáveis altera as respostas agudas e as adaptações crônicas no sistema neuromuscular. Portanto, o objetivo deste trabalho foi revisar os efeitos agudos e adaptações neuromusculares decorrentes da manipulação diária e semanal do volume e densidade no treinamento de força. A combinação da ordem dos exercícios, sistemas de treinamentos e séries realizadas tem demonstrado ser uma estratégia eficiente para aumentar o desempenho e reduzir o tempo da sessão de treinamento. Estudos prévios sugerem que o aumento da sobrecarga pode ser realizado através da manipulação das séries na sessão do treinamento e do número de sessões ao longo da semana. Quanto à frequência de treinamento, a literatura parece ser clara ao sugerir ganhos superiores de força e hipertrofia muscular quando duas a três sessões por grupamento muscular são realizadas na semana. Entretanto, frequências de até 6 sessões na semana para o mesmo grupo muscular podem favorecer o anabolismo muscular. A presente revisão conclui que em uma única sessão de treinamento até 30 séries por grupo muscular podem ser necessárias dependendo do objetivo e da população treinada. O desempenho agudo da sessão (volume absoluto, força e potência) pode ser melhorado por meio de diferentes ordens de exercícios ou sistemas de treinamento quando essas estratégias aumentam o intervalo de recuperação entre séries e exercícios para o mesmo grupamento muscular. Adicionalmente, uma única sessão de treinamento por semana pode manter ou até mesmo aumentar a força e o tamanho muscular. Palavras-Chave: treinamento de força, volume relativo, volume absoluto, sessão de treinamento, frequência semanal. The manipulation of both volume and density on strength training is performed by managing the number of sets performed by each muscle group, and how its sets can be organized on a single-session and week of training. Its well known that this type of variable manipulation affect the acute effects and chronic adaptations of the neuromuscular system. Therefore, the aim of this work was to review the acute effects, and neuromuscular adaptations of the daily and weekly manipulation of volume and density during the resistance training. The combination of exercise order, training systems, and sets have shown to be an efficient strategy to improve performance and reduce the session time. Previous studies suggested that the progressive overload is attained by increasing the number of sets in a given strength session or by increasing the training frequency. Regarding the training frequency, the literature seems to be clear when suggests superior gains in strength and muscle hypertrophy when performed two to three sessions per week for each muscle group. However, up to 6 strength sessions for the same muscle group might boost muscle anabolism. The present review concludes that in a single session up to 30 sets per muscle group may be required depending on the goal and the population trained. The acute training performance (ie. absolute volume, force and power) may be enhanced by different exercise orders or training systems when its strategies increase the resting interval between sets or exercises for the same muscle group. Additionally, a single session of resistance training at week may be able to maintain or even promote strength and muscle size gains, howerver, two to three sessions have shown to be superior to promoting such neuromuscular adaptations.
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Some researchers have postulated that training to muscular failure is obligatory for maximizing muscle hypertrophy. This has to the speculation that drop set training may be an effective strategy to more fully fatigue the musculature and, in turn, enhance muscular adaptations. Herein we review the evidence on the topic.
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the consciousness among young people (n = 1000) of training body part(s) by showing participants a picture of trunk muscle exercises through a questionnaire-based survey. The participants were shown a picture of bent-knee sit-up (sit-up), back extension (back-EXT), and plank from elbows to toes (plank), and were asked which body part(s) they felt was being trained in each picture. As for the frequency of performing these exercises, only 3% and 8% of all the participants had never performed sit-up and plank exercises, respectively. On seeing the picture, 40–60% of the participants who had no experience doing a sit-up or back-EXT felt that these exercises were to train not only the agonist muscle but also the antagonist muscle. Approximately 40% of the participants who had no experience doing a plank exercise felt that it was not to train the epigastrium or hypogastrium area. Among the participants who experienced doing a plank exercise without a previous experience of strength training under professional supervision, more than half felt that plank exercise was appropriate to train not only the trunk but also the upper limb or lower leg. Furthermore, among the participants who had a previous experience of strength training under professional supervision, approximately 30% had such an opinion. Therefore, although the penetration rate of these trunk exercises are high, doing trunk exercises by referring to only a picture may result in the participants not properly understanding how the body part(s) should be trained during the exercise. Therefore, to enhance the benefits of trunk exercises, individuals (even those who had a previous experience of training under professional supervision) always need to be instructed through appropriate supervision on the correct technique and knowledge about the exercises.
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Metabolic stress is a primary mechanism of muscle hypertrophy and is associated with microvascular oxygenation and muscle activation. Considering that drop-set (DS) and crescent pyramid (CP) resistance training systems are recommended to modulate these mechanisms related to muscle hypertrophy, we aimed to investigate if these resistance training systems produce a different microvascular oxygenation status and muscle activation from those observed in traditional resistance training (TRAD). Twelve volunteers had their legs randomized in an intra-subject cross-over design in TRAD (3 sets of 10 repetitions at 75% 1-RM), DS (3 sets of ∼50-75% 1-RM) and CP (3 sets of 6-10 repetitions at 75-85% 1-RM). Vastus medialis microvascular oxygenation and muscle activation were respectively assessed by non-invasive near-infrared spectroscopy and surface electromyography techniques during the resistance training sessions in the leg-extension exercise. Total hemoglobin area under the curve (AUC) (TRAD: -1653.5 ± 2866.5; DS: -3069.2 ± 3429.4; CP: -1196.6 ± 2675.3) and tissue oxygen saturation (TRAD: 19283.1 ± 6698.0; DS: 23995.5 ± 15604.9; CP: 16109.1 ± 8553.1) increased without differences between protocols (p>0.05). Greater decreases in oxygenated hemoglobin AUC and hemoglobin differentiated AUC were respectively found for DS (-4036.8 ± 2698.1; -5004.4 ± 2722.9) compared with TRAD (-1951.8 ± 1720.0; -2250.3 ± 1305.7) and CP (-1814.4 ± 2634.3; 2432.2 ± 2891.4) (p<0.03). Higher increases of hemoglobin deoxygenated AUC were found for DS (1426.7 ± 1320.7) compared with TRAD (316.0 ± 1164.9) only (p=0.04). No differences were demonstrated in electromyographic amplitudes between TRAD (69.0 ± 34.4), DS (61.3 ± 26.7) and CP (60.9 ± 38.8) (p>0.05). Despite DS produced lower microvascular oxygenation levels compared with TRAD and CP, all protocols produced similar muscle activation levels.
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By means of a questionnaire-based survey, the aim of the present study was to investigate body part(s) training consciousness in young people (n=1000) through imaging of trunk muscle exercises. The participants were shown pictures of the bent-knee sit-up (sit-up), back extension (back-EXT), and elbows-to-toes plank (plank), and then asked which body part(s) they felt was being trained in each picture. Only 3% and 8% of the participants had never performed the sit-up and plank exercises, respectively. On seeing the images, 40—60% of the participants who had no experience doing a sit-up or back-EXT felt that these exercises were to train not only the agonist muscle but also the antagonist muscle. Approximately 40% of the participants who had no experience doing the plank exercise felt that it was not to train the epigastrium or hypogastrium area. Among the participants who had experienced the plank exercise without any previous experience of strength training under professional supervision, more than half felt that the plank exercise was appropriate for training not only the trunk but also the upper limb or lower leg. Furthermore, among the participants with previous experience of strength training under professional supervision, approximately 30% had such an opinion. Therefore, although the penetration rate of these trunk exercises is high, merely performing them by reference to only a picture may result in the participants not properly understanding how the body part(s) should be trained during the exercise. Therefore, to enhance the benefits of trunk exercises, individuals (even those who have had previous experience of training under professional supervision) always need to receive appropriate supervision on the correct technique and to acquire knowledge about the exercises.
Article
Using a within-subject design we compared the individual responses between drop-set (DS) vs. traditional resistance training (TRAD) (n=16) and crescent pyramid (CP) vs. TRAD (n=15). Muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), leg press and leg extension 1 repetition maximum (1-RM) were assessed pre and post training. At group level, CSA increased from pre to post (DS: 7.8% vs. TRAD: 7.5%, P=0.02; CP: 7.5% vs. TRAD: 7.8%, P=0.02). All protocols increased the 1-RM from pre to post for leg press (DS: 24.9% vs. TRAD: 26.8%, P < 0.0001; CP: 27.3% vs. TRAD:2 6.3%, P < 0.0001) and leg extension (DS: 17.1% vs. TRAD: 17.3%, P < 0.0001; CP: 17.0% vs. TRAD: 16.6%, P < 0.0001). Individual analysis for CSA demonstrated no differences between protocols in 15 subjects. For leg press 1-RM, 5 subjects responded more to TRAD, 2 to DS and 9 similarly between protocols. In TRAD vs. CP, 4 subjects responded more to CP, 1 to TRAD and 10 similarly between protocols. For leg extension 1-RM 2 subjects responded more to DS, 3 to TRAD and 11 similarly between protocols. Additionally, 2 subjects responded more to CP, 2 to TRAD and 11 similarly between protocols. In conclusion, all protocols induced similar individual responses for CSA. For 1-RM, some subjects experience greater gains for the protocol performed with higher loads, such as CP.
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Most studies of resistance training (RT) examine methods that do not resemble typical training practices of persons participating in RT. Ecologically valid RT programs more representative of such practices are seldom compared. This study compared two such approaches to RT. Thirty participants (males, n=13; females, n=17) were randomised to either a group performing low volume 'High Intensity Training' (HIT; n=16) or high volume 'Body-building' (3ST; n=14) RT methods 2x/week for 10 weeks. Outcomes included muscular performance, body composition, and participant's subjective assessments. Both HIT and 3ST groups improved muscular performance significantly (as indicated by 95% confidence intervals) with large effect sizes (ES; 0.97 to 1.73 and 0.88 to 1.77 respectively). HIT had significantly greater muscular performance gains for 3 of 9 tested exercises compared with 3ST (p < 0.05) and larger effect sizes for 8 of 9 exercises. Body composition did not significantly change in either group. However, effect sizes for whole body muscle mass changes were slightly more favourable in the HIT group compared with the 3ST group (0.27 and -0.34 respectively) in addition to whole body fat mass (0.03 and 0.43 respectively) and whole body fat percentage (-0.10 and -0.44 respectively). Significant muscular performance gains can be produced using either HIT or 3ST. However, muscular performance gains may be greater when using HIT. Future research should look to identify which components of ecologically valid RT programs are primarily responsible for these differences in outcome.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the consciousness among young people (n = 1016) on training body part(s), using a questionnaire-based survey showing participants a picture of a single-joint exercise. The participants were shown a picture of knee-extension exercise (KNEE-EXT), and were asked to identify the body part(s) they felt were being trained. On seeing the picture, more than 90% of the participants felt that KNEE-EXT can train the anterior thigh part. However, more than 90% of the participants who had no experience doing KNEE-EXT felt that the exercise trained not only the anterior thigh part but also other parts, including the trunk, the posterior thigh, and the upper limb. Among those participants who had performed KNEE-EXT without the experience of strength-training under professional supervision, approximately 80% felt that the exercise was appropriate to train not only the anterior thigh but also other parts. These results suggest that performing exercises by referring to only a picture may result in the individuals not properly understanding how the body part(s) should be trained during exercise, even in single-joint exercises. Appropriate supervision is of even greater importance especially for strength-training beginners. Furthermore, even among participants who had an experience of exercise under professional supervision, approximately 60% had a similar response. Therefore, to enhance the benefits of exercises, individuals (even those who have had experience in training under professional supervision) should always be instructed under appropriate supervision on the correct technique and knowledge about the exercises.
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Training variation has been suggested as a primary principle in the pursuit of increasing muscle hypertrophy and maximal strength. Although variation may be achieved in a number of different manners within the training process, at the training session level advanced approaches to stimulating adaptations can be employed. At present, research is undecided on the benefits of these methods. Part 1 of this two-part article will review methods that may be employed to accumulate greater training volume through raising training density. Part 2 will discuss advance strategies that possess the potential to increase training intensity, while maintaining other acute exercise variables. The practical application of these methods will also be discussed, in the context of creating greater muscle cross-sectional area and developing maximal strength.
Chapter
Resistance exercise training leads to muscle hypertrophy; however the exact mechanisms involved in the hypertrophic process are still not fully understood to this day. Besides resistance training-induced mechanical stress, hormonal elevations triggered by resistance training seem to play important roles in the anabolic process via genomic and non-genomic activities. Nevertheless, studies with regard to the direct effects of resistance training-induced acute hormonal elevations on muscle growth led to contradictory findings. Indeed, several studies show direct correlations between acute hormonal elevations and muscle hypertrophy, while others deny such correlations. Even if direct effects of resistance training-induced acute elevations might not be the main driving factor for muscle hypertrophy, they are involved in many anabolic processes and therefore facilitate the hypertrophic mechanism. On the other hand, supraphysiological levels of hormones achieved via exogenous supplementation may create an anabolic and anti-catabolic environment leading to muscle hypertrophy going beyond the levels achievable with physiological hormonal levels.
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Effects of strength training (ST) for 21 wk were examined in 10 older women (64 ± 3 yr). Electromyogram, maximal isometric force, one-repetition maximum strength, and rate of force development of the leg extensors, muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) of the quadriceps femoris (QF) and of vastus lateralis (VL), medialis (VM), intermedius (VI) and rectus femoris (RF) throughout the lengths of 3/12–12/15 (Lf) of the femur, muscle fiber proportion and areas of types I, IIa, and IIb of the VL were evaluated. Serum hormone concentrations of testosterone, growth hormone (GH), cortisol, and IGF-I were analyzed for the resting, preexercise, and postexercise conditions. After the 21-wk ST, maximal force increased by 37% ( P < 0.001) and 1-RM by 29% ( P < 0.001), accompanied by an increase ( P < 0.01) in rate of force development. The integrated electromyograms of the vastus muscles increased ( P < 0.05). The CSA of the total QF increased ( P < 0.05) throughout the length of the femur by 5–9%. The increases were significant ( P< 0.05) at 7/15–12/15 Lf for VL and at 3/15–8/15 Lf for VM, at 5/15–9/15 for VI and at 9/15 ( P < 0.05) for RF. The fiber areas of type I ( P < 0.05), IIa ( P < 0.001), and IIb ( P < 0.001) increased by 22–36%. No changes occurred during ST in serum basal concentrations of the hormones examined, but the level of testosterone correlated with the changes in the CSA of the QF ( r = 0.64, P < 0.05). An acute increase of GH ( P < 0.05), remaining elevated up to 30 min ( P < 0.05) postloading, was observed only at posttraining. Both neural adaptations and the capacity of skeletal muscle to undergo training-induced hypertrophy even in older women explain the strength gains. The increases in the CSA of the QF occurred throughout its length but differed selectively between the individual muscles. The serum concentrations of hormones remained unaltered, but a low level of testosterone may be a limiting factor in training-induced muscle hypertrophy. The magnitude and time duration of the acute GH response may be important physiological indicators of anabolic adaptations during strength training even in older women.
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Contractile activity plays a critical role in the regulation of gene transcription in skeletal muscle, which in turn determines muscle functional capabilities. However, little is known about the molecular signaling mechanisms that convert contractile activity into gene regulatory responses in skeletal muscle. In the current study we determined the effects of contractile activity in vivo on the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, a signaling cascade that has been implicated in the regulation of transcription. Electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve to produce contractions in anaesthetized rats increased JNK activity by up to 7-fold above basal. Maximal enzyme activity occurred at 15 min of contraction and remained elevated at 60 min of contraction. The upstream activators of JNK, the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 and the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1 followed a similar time course of activation in response to contractile activity. In contrast, contraction induced a rapid and transient activation of the extracellular-regulated kinase pathway, indicating that the regulation of JNK signaling is distinct from that of extracellular-regulated kinase. The activation of the JNK signaling cascade was temporally associated with an increased expression of c-jun mRNA. These results demonstrate that contractile activity regulates JNK activity in skeletal muscle and suggest that activation of JNK may regulate contraction-induced gene expression in skeletal muscle.
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Ten eumenorrheic women (age 24.1 +/- 4.3) performed 2 randomly assigned heavy-resistance exercise protocols (HREP) on separate days during the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Multiple-set (MS) HREP consisted of 3 sets of 10 RM of 8 resistance exercises with a 1-min rest between exercises and sets. Single-set (SS) HREP consisted of 1 set of 10 RM of the same 8 exercises in the same order, with 1-min rest between consecutive exercises. SS total work was about one-third that of the MS. Immunoreactive serum growth hormone (GH), cortisol, and blood lactate were measured pre- and postexercise (0, 15, and 30 min). The MS produced significant (p < 0.05) increases in serum GH and cortisol above resting levels at all postexercise times. The SS significantly increased serum GH at 15 min postexercise, and cortisol at 0 and 15 min postexercise. Both protocols yielded significant increases in blood lactate above rest at all postexercise times. The MS produced the most significant hormonal and metabolic responses, indicating that exercise volume may be an important factor in hormonal and metabolic mechanisms related to resistance exercise in women. (C) 1996 National Strength and Conditioning Association
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The objective of this study was to investigate the acute effects on volume load (VL) (load × repetitions) of performing paired set (PS) vs. traditional set (TS) training over 3 consecutive sets. After a familiarization session 16 trained men performed 2 testing protocols using 4 repetition maximum loads: TS (3 sets of bench pull followed by 3 sets of bench press performed in approximately 10 minutes) or PS (3 sets of bench pull and 3 sets of bench press performed in an alternating manner in approximately 10 minutes). Bench pull and bench press VL decreased significantly from set 1 to set 2 and from set 2 to set 3 under both the PS and TS conditions (p < 0.05). Bench pull and bench press VL per set were significantly less under TS as compared to PS over all sets, with the exception of the first set (bench pull set 1) (p < 0.05). Session totals for bench pull and bench press VL were significantly less under TS as compared to PS (p < 0.05). Paired set was determined to be more efficient (VL/time) as compared to TS. The data suggest that a 2-minute rest interval between sets (TS), or a 4-minute rest interval between similar sets (PS), may not be adequate to maintain VL. The data further suggest that PS training may be more effective than TS training in terms of VL maintenance and more efficient. Paired set training would appear to be an efficient method of exercise. Practitioners wishing to maximize work completed per unit of time may be well advised to consider PS training.
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The quest to increase lean body mass is widely pursued by those who lift weights. Research is lacking, however, as to the best approach for maximizing exercise-induced muscle growth. Bodybuilders generally train with moderate loads and fairly short rest intervals that induce high amounts of metabolic stress. Powerlifters, on the other hand, routinely train with high-intensity loads and lengthy rest periods between sets. Although both groups are known to display impressive muscularity, it is not clear which method is superior for hypertrophic gains. It has been shown that many factors mediate the hypertrophic process and that mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress all can play a role in exercise-induced muscle growth. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is twofold: (a) to extensively review the literature as to the mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to exercise training and (b) to draw conclusions from the research as to the optimal protocol for maximizing muscle growth.
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Although recent studies have reported that low-intensity resistance training with blood flow restriction could stress the muscle effectively and provide rapid muscle hypertrophy and strength gain equivalent to those of high-intensity resistance training, the exact mechanism and its generality have not yet been clarified. We investigated the intramuscular metabolism during low-intensity resistance exercise with blood flow restriction and compared it with that of high-intensity and low-intensity resistance exercises without blood flow restriction using (31)P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Twenty-six healthy subjects (22 +/- 4 yr) participated and performed unilateral plantar flexion (30 repetitions/min) for 2 min. Protocols were as follows: low-intensity exercise (L) using a load of 20% of one-repetition maximum (1 RM), L with blood flow restriction (LR), and high-intensity exercise using 65% 1 RM (H). Intramuscular phosphocreatine (PCr) and diprotonated phosphate (H(2)PO(4)(-)) levels and intramuscular pH at rest and during exercise were obtained. We found that the PCr depletion, the H(2)PO(4)(-) increase, and the intramuscular pH decrease during LR were significantly greater than those in L (P < 0.001); however, those in LR were significantly lower than those in H (P < 0.001). The recruitment of fast-twitch fiber evaluated by inorganic phosphate splitting occurred in only 31% of the subjects in LR, compared with 70% in H. In conclusion, the metabolic stress in skeletal muscle during low-intensity resistance exercise was significantly increased by applying blood flow restriction, but did not generally reach that during high-intensity resistance exercise. This new method of resistance training needs to be examined for optimization of the protocol to reach equivalence with high-intensity resistance training.
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Skeletal muscles adapt to changes in their workload by regulating fibre size by unknown mechanisms. The roles of two signalling pathways implicated in muscle hypertrophy on the basis of findings in vitro, Akt/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and calcineurin/NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells), were investigated in several models of skeletal muscle hypertrophy and atrophy in vivo. The Akt/mTOR pathway was upregulated during hypertrophy and downregulated during muscle atrophy. Furthermore, rapamycin, a selective blocker of mTOR, blocked hypertrophy in all models tested, without causing atrophy in control muscles. In contrast, the calcineurin pathway was not activated during hypertrophy in vivo, and inhibitors of calcineurin, cyclosporin A and FK506 did not blunt hypertrophy. Finally, genetic activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway was sufficient to cause hypertrophy and prevent atrophy in vivo, whereas genetic blockade of this pathway blocked hypertrophy in vivo. We conclude that the activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway and its downstream targets, p70S6K and PHAS-1/4E-BP1, is requisitely involved in regulating skeletal muscle fibre size, and that activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway can oppose muscle atrophy induced by disuse.
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Lack of staining for desmin in muscles in animal models of eccentric exercise has been suggested to reflect disruption of the desmin intermediate filament network and proposed to cause disruption of the myofibrillar apparatus and deterioration of muscle fibers. In a recent study, we examined muscle biopsies from persons who had performed different eccentric exercise protocols, which induced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). We were unable to verify that loss of staining for desmin was a feature of sore muscles. Nevertheless, we observed changes in the desmin cytoskeleton, but the meaning of the observations was not conclusive. In the present study, a high resolution immunocytochemical method was used to investigate the changes of desmin and actin in human muscles following a bout of eccentric exercise that lead to DOMS 2-3 days post-exercise. Biopsies were taken before exercise and 1 h and 2-3 and 7-8 days after exercise. Phalloidin, a ligand that labels filamentous actin, and anti-desmin antibodies were used to stain semithin (approximately 0.5 micro m) cryosections. At 1 h post-exercise, the staining of actin and desmin did not differ from the controls, whereas in biopsies taken 2-3 and 7-8 days after exercise, 12.5% (SD 5.8%) and 6.1% (SD 2.3%) fibers showed areas of increased staining for actin. Corresponding values for fibers with increased staining for both actin and desmin were 8.7% (SD 3.9%) and 11.4% (SD 4.6%), respectively. We suggest that the increased staining of actin and desmin reflects an increased synthesis of these proteins as part of an adaptation process following the unaccustomed eccentric exercise.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of isokinetic eccentric (ECC) and concentric (CON) training at two velocities [fast, 180 degrees s(-1 )(3.14 rad s(-1)) and slow,30 degrees s(-1)(0.52 rad s(-1))] on muscle hypertrophy. Twenty-four untrained volunteers (age 18-36 years) participated in fast- ( n=13) or slow- ( n=11) velocity training, where they trained one arm eccentrically for 8 weeks followed by CON training of the opposite arm for 8 weeks. Ten subjects served as controls (CNT). Subjects were tested before and after training for elbow flexor muscle thickness by sonography and isokinetic strength (Biodex). Overall, ECC training resulted in greater hypertrophy than CON training (P<0.01). No significant strength or hypertrophy changes occurred in the CNT group. ECC (180 degrees s(-1)) training resulted in greater hypertrophy than CON (180 degrees s(-1)) training and CON (30 degrees s(-1)) training (P<0.01). ECC (30 degrees s(-1)) training resulted in greater hypertrophy than CON (180 degrees s(-1)) training (P<0.05), but not CON (30 degrees s(-1)) training. ECC (180 degrees s(-1)) training resulted in the greatest increases in strength (P<0.01). We conclude that ECC fast training is the most effective for muscle hypertrophy and strength gain.
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The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of an additional set immediately following high intensity resistance exercise on growth hormone (GH) response. Subjects (n=8) performed 4 resistance exercise protocols (bilateral knee extension exercise) on separate days. The protocols were categorized into 2 types of protocol, namely "Strength-up type (S-type)" and "Combination type (Combi-type)". The S-type was resistance exercise which consisted of 5 sets at 90% of 1 repetition maximum (RM) with 3-min rest periods between sets, whereas the Combi-type is a training protocol which adds an additional set (either 50% of 1 RM [C50-type], 70% of 1 RM [C70-type] or 90% of 1 RM [C90-type]) to the S-type. Serum GH concentration and blood lactate concentration were determined pre-exercise and at 0-60 min postexercise. Relative changes in thigh girth and maximal unilateral isometric strength were determined pre-exercise and immediately postexercise. The increasing values of GH concentration (DGH) in the S-type was the lowest of all protocols. On the other hand, DGH in the C50-type showed a significantly (p<0.05) higher increase than in the S-type and C90-type, and a relatively higher increase than in the C70-type. These results suggests that a high intensity, low volume training protocol to induce neural adaptation resulted in little GH response, but GH secretion was increased by performing a single set of low intensity resistance exercise at the end of a series of high intensity resistance sets.
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This study assessed the effects of hamstring prefatigue on peak torque, peak power, time to peak torque, knee angle of peak torque, and electromyography (EMG) activity of the hamstrings and quadriceps group during knee extensions at angular velocities of 60 degrees, 180 degrees, and 300 degrees.s(-1). Twenty Division I wrestlers performed 5 maximal knee extensions in prefatigued and nonfatigued conditions of the hamstring group. This study demonstrated that when the hamstrings were prefatigued, the quadriceps produced significant decreases in peak torque of 1.7% (p < 0.05), peak power of 11% (p < 0.05), and rate to peak torque of 6.4% (p < 0.01) as compared with the nonfatigued state. When the hamstrings were prefatigued, they produced a 25% greater amount of EMG activity during knee extension (p < 0.01) than when not prefatigued. There was no significant difference in quadriceps EMG activity whether the hamstring group was prefatigued or not (p > 0.05). The decrease in quadriceps peak torque during the prefatigued condition was more pronounced (p < 0.01) at an angular velocity of 60 degrees.s(-1) than at 180 degrees or 300 degrees.s(-1). In other words, prefatiguing the antagonist appears to be most detrimental to torque output of the quadriceps in the condition that most closely replicates the speed at which "isotonic" weight training occurs (60 degrees.s(-1)) and suggests a limitation to agonist-antagonist superset training.
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Calcineurin-dependent pathways have been implicated in the hypertrophic response of skeletal muscle to functional overload (OV) (Dunn, S.E., J.L. Burns, and R.N. Michel. 1999. J. Biol. Chem. 274:21908–21912). Here we show that skeletal muscles overexpressing an activated form of calcineurin (CnA*) exhibit a phenotype indistinguishable from wild-type counterparts under normal weightbearing conditions and respond to OV with a similar doubling in cell size and slow fiber number. These adaptations occurred despite the fact that CnA* muscles displayed threefold higher calcineurin activity and enhanced dephosphorylation of the calcineurin targets NFATc1, MEF2A, and MEF2D. Moreover, when calcineurin signaling is compromised with cyclosporin A, muscles from OV wild-type mice display a lower molecular weight form of CnA, originally detected in failing hearts, whereas CnA* muscles are spared this manifestation. We also show that OV-induced growth and type transformations are prevented in muscle fibers of transgenic mice overexpressing a peptide that inhibits calmodulin from signaling to target enzymes. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that both calcineurin and its activity-linked upstream signaling elements are crucial for muscle adaptations to OV and that, unless significantly compromised, endogenous levels of this enzyme can accommodate large fluctuations in upstream calcium-dependent signaling events.