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Influence of Resistance Training Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of training muscle groups 1 day per week using a split-body routine versus 3 days per week using a total-body routine on muscular adaptations in well-trained men. Subjects were 20 male volunteers (height = 1.76 ± 0.05 m; body mass = 78.0 ± 10.7 kg; age = 23.5 ± 2.9 years) recruited from a university population. Participants were pair-matched according to baseline strength and then randomly assigned to 1 of 2 experimental groups: a split-body routine (SPLIT) where multiple exercises were performed for a specific muscle group in a session with 2-3 muscle groups trained per session (n = 10), or; a total-body routine (TOTAL), where 1 exercise was performed per muscle group in a session with all muscle groups trained in each session (n = 10). Subjects were tested pre- and post-study for 1 repetition maximum strength in the bench press and squat, and muscle thickness of forearm flexors, forearm extensors, and vastus lateralis. Results showed significantly greater increases in forearm flexor muscle thickness for TOTAL compared to SPLIT. No significant differences were noted in maximal strength measures. The findings suggest a potentially superior hypertrophic benefit to higher weekly resistance training frequencies.
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