Nutr Hosp. 2016; 33(2):437-443 ISSN 0212-1611 - CODEN NUHOEQ S.V. R. 31 8
Trabajo Original Otros
Michael C. Zourdos. Department of Exercise Science
and Health Promotion. 777 Glades Rd. Florida Atlantic
University. Boca Raton, FL. 33431. Field House 11A,
Room 126A. USA
Zourdos MC, Dolan C, Quiles JM, Klemp A, Jo E, Loenneke JP, Blanco R, Whitehurst M. Efﬁcacy of daily
1RM training in well-trained powerlifters and weightlifters: a case series. Nutr Hosp 2016;33:437-443
Efﬁcacy of daily one-repetition maximum training in well-trained powerlifters and
weightlifters: a case series
Eﬁcacia del entrenamiento diario de una repetición de máximo peso en levantadores de pesas bien
entrenados: una serie de casos
Michael C. Zourdos1, Chad Dolan1, Justin M. Quiles1, Alex Klemp1, Edward Jo2, Jeremy P. Loenneke3, Rocky Blanco1 and Michael
1Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion. Muscle Physiology Laboratory. Florida Atlantic University. Boca Raton, Florida, USA. 2Department of Kinesiology and
Health Promotion. Human Performance Research Laboratory. California State Polytechnic University. Pomona, Pomona, California, USA. 3Department of Health, Exercise
Science and Recreation Management. Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory. University of Mississippi. Mississippi, USA
Repetición de máximo
peso. Deportes de
fuerza. Adaptación de
Introducción: el propósito de este estudio fue investigar la eﬁcacia del entrenamiento diario de una repetición máxima (1RM) de la sentadilla
en fuerza máxima.
Material y método: tres levantadores de peso de competición realizaron la sentadilla durante 37 días consecutivos y se reportan como casos
individuales. Participante 1 (P1) (masa corporal = 80,5 kg; edad = 28 años) y participante 3 (P3) (masa corporal = 108,8 kg; edad = 34 años)
eran levantadores de fuerza; participante 2 (P2) (masa corporal = 64,1 kg; edad = 19 años) fue un levantador de pesas. Cada participante tenía
por lo menos 5 años de experiencia con la posición en sentadilla de formación. Durante los días 1-35, los participantes realizaron una sentadilla
de 1RM seguida por 5 conjuntos de volumen de 3 repeticiones al 85% o 2 repeticiones al 90% de la 1RM diario. En el día 36, los participantes
realizan solo una serie de 1 repetición al 85% de 1RM del día 1; y el día 37 realizaron un 1RM.
Resultados: cambios absolutos y porcentaje para P1 del 1 día al 37: + 5 kg/2,3% y desde el primer día al máximo (1RM era el mayor)
+12,5kg/5,8%. P2 experimentó un aumento de 13,5 kg/10,8% en 1RM del día 1 al 37 y del día 1 al máximo. P3 demostró un aumento de
21kg/9,5% del día 1 al 37 y del día 1 al máximo. Los tres participantes exhibieron signiﬁcativa (p < 0,05) las correlaciones entre el tiempo
(días) y 1RM (P1: r = 0,65, P2: r = 0,78, P3: r = 0,48).
Conclusión: nuestros resultados sugieren que el entrenamiento diario de 1RM había producido efectivamente cambios signiﬁcativos en la
máxima fuerza en los atletas de fuerza competitiva en un periodo relativamente corto de entrenamiento.
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efﬁcacy of daily one-repetition maximum (1RM) training of the back squat on
Material and methods: Three competitive lifters performed the squat for 37 consecutive days and are reported as individual cases. Participant
1 (P1) (body mass = 80.5 kg; age = 28 yrs.) and participant 3 (P3) (body mass = 108.8 kg; age = 34 yrs.) were powerlifters; participant 2 (P2)
(body mass = 64.1 kg; age = 19 yrs.) was a weightlifter. Each participant had at least 5 years of training experience with the squat. During days
1-35, participants performed a 1RM squat followed by 5 volume sets of 3 repetitions at 85% or 2 repetitions at 90% of the daily 1RM. On day-36,
participants performed only 1 set of 1 repetition at 85% of day-1 1RM; and a ﬁnal 1RM was performed on day-37.
Results: Absolute and percent changes for P1 from day-1 to day-37 were +5 kg/2.3%, and from day-1 to peak (greatest 1RM of the period)
were +12.5 kg/5.8%. P2 experienced a 13.5 kg/10.8% increase in 1RM from both day-1 to day-37 and day-1 to peak. P3 demonstrated a
21.0 kg/9.5% increase from both day-1 to day-37 and day-1 to peak. All 3 participants exhibited signiﬁcant (p < 0.05) correlations between
time (days) and 1RM (P1: r = 0.65, P2: r = 0.78, P3: r = 0.48).
Conclusions: Our ﬁndings suggest that daily 1RM training effectively produced robust changes in maximal strength in competitive strength
athletes in a relatively short training period.
438 M. C. Zourdos et al.
[Nutr Hosp 2016;33(2):437-443]
The overarching training strategy for exercise performance
optimization is based upon the Speciﬁc Adaptations to Imposed
Demands (SAID) principle (1), which states the human body will
adapt speciﬁcally to an external stressor. In strength sports, such as
powerlifting, (i.e. squat, bench press, and deadlift) and weightlifting
(clean and jerk and snatch) absolute speciﬁcity can be applied daily
to the speciﬁc disciplines (i.e. individual lifts), in accordance with
competition standards. However, despite the ability of a strength
athlete to apply the SAID principle daily, it is recommended that
resistance training of the same muscle group be performed 2-3x/
wk. with a 48-hour recovery period (2). Nonetheless, previous lit-
erature has suggested that it is likely higher frequencies that are
recommended for enhanced strength adaptation (3), and recent
data has demonstrated a frequency of three days/wk. compared to
one day/wk. to be superior for muscle hypertrophy (4). Therefore,
investigating higher training frequencies is a logical extension of
current methodologies to further explore strength and hypertrophy
adaptations in accordance with SAID.
Moreover, powerlifting and weightlifting competitions only require
one-repetition maximum (1RM) performance; therefore, for training
to truly coincide with the principle of speciﬁcity, the competitive
disciplines should be performed frequently and at a high percent-
age of 1RM. In fact, although not yet investigated in the scientiﬁc
literature, reports exist that elite level weightlifters have trained the
disciplines daily and maximally with success (5). Although daily and
maximal training could conceivable lead to overtraining syndrome
(6), it is also plausible that in accordance to Selye’s (1956) gener-
al adaptation syndrome (GAS) model (7) positive adaptations and
performance improvements may manifest. The GAS describes that
an initial stressor will set off the “alarm reaction” stage, which is
analogous to an initial stage of damage/fatigue in response to a new
training stimulus. However, following a repeated stimulus, the body
will ultimately recover and enter the ‘stage of resistance’, during
which an individual exhibits an enhanced ability to cope with the
demands of the stressor. In exercise speciﬁcally, this is similar to the
repeated bout effect (RBE), which states when the same exercise
(8) or muscle group (9) is repeated in training, there will be an
attenuated myoﬁber damage effect. Theoretically, a discipline can
be trained over time so that the RBE manifests to result in minimal
damage even when a speciﬁc discipline is trained daily, which is in
concert with the body’s adaptability according to the GAS.
Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to examine the
efﬁcacy of daily 1RM and volume training on the back squat,
followed by volume sets of the back squat, for producing 1RM
strength enhancement in well-trained competitive powerlifters/
weightlifters over 37 consecutive days. Further, we investigated
the effects of this training strategy on muscle hypertrophy. We
hypothesized that despite daily strength ﬂuctuations, squat 1RM
would experience robust increases and be positively related to
time (days) of training over the 37-day period.
Three male participants were recruited and are reported as indi-
vidual case studies. Individual participant characteristics are dis-
played in table I. Participants 1 (P1, age = 28 yrs.) and 3 (P3, age
= 34 yrs.) were competitive powerlifters in the raw division of the
United States of America Powerlifting (USAPL) and participant (P2,
age = 19 yrs.) was a competitive weightlifter of the United States of
America Weightlifting (USAW). P1 and P3 had 10 years of training
experience, while P2 had 5 years experience. Participants were
informed of study procedures and provided written informed con-
sent. The University’s Institutional Review Board approved this study.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND OBJECTIVES
This study was designed to examine the effects of daily 1RM
back squat training and subsequent volume sets on maximal
Table I. Anthropometric and muscle thickness measures at pre-, mid-, and post-testing
Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3
Pre Mid Post ∆ (%) Pre Mid Post ∆ (%) Pre Mid Post ∆ (%)
TBM (kg) 80.5 81.6 80.9 0.47 64.1 64.4 64.7 0.94 108.8 110.4 109.8 0.92
FM (kg) 11.0 10.0 10.2 -7.27 3.9 4.9 4.4 12.80 19.3 20.6 17.6 -8.81
FFM (kg) 69.5 71.6 70.7 1.73 60.2 59.5 60.3 0.17 89.5 89.8 92.2 3.02
BF% 13.7 12.3 12.6 -8.03 6.1 7.6 6.8 11.48 17.7 18.7 16.0 -9.60
FFM% 86.3 87.7 87.4 1.27 93.9 92.4 93.2 -0.75 82.3 81.3 84.0 2.07
LQM Thickness (mm) 50.4 51.5 48.5 -3.77 42.5 48.1 45.4 6.82 49.1 48.1 48.0 -2.24
LQD Thickness (mm) 45.2 44.9 47.6 5.31 38.8 43.7 39.9 2.84 39.5 46.2 42.9 8.61
AQ Thickness (mm) 59.8 65.1 61.5 2.84 40.8 36.2 35.4 -13.20 44.4 44.0 46.8 5.41
∆ % = Percentage change from pre- to post-testing;; TBM = Total body mass; FM = Fat mass; FFM = Fat free mass; BF% = Body fat percentage; FFM% = Fat free
mass percentage; LQM = Lateral quadriceps midpoint; LQD = Lateral quadriceps distal aspect; AQ = Anterior quadriceps.
439EFFICACY OF DAILY ONE-REPETITION MAXIMUM TRAINING IN WELL-TRAINED POWERLIFTERS AND WEIGHTLIFTERS:
A CASE SERIES
[Nutr Hosp 2016;33(2):437-443]
strength levels and muscle hypertrophy. Each participant per-
formed the back squat for 37 consecutive days with a 1RM per-
formed on 36 days of the 37 days. Throughout days 1-30, partic-
ipants performed a 1RM squat followed by ﬁve volume sets. The
ﬁve volume sets consisted of either ﬁve sets of three repetitions
at 85% of the daily 1RM or ﬁve sets of two repetitions at 90% of
the daily 1RM, and this volume strategy was alternated between
days. Day-31 began the taper period, during which volume was
systematically decreased. On days 31 and 32 participants per-
formed a 1RM followed by three volume sets, days 33/34 were
a 1RM and two volume sets, and day-35 was a 1RM and one
volume set. Day-36 consisted of a lighter session, during which
participants performed only one set of one repetition at 85% of
their pre-testing 1RM (i.e., day-36 was the only day where a max
squat was not performed). To complete the study, participants
performed a post-test 1RM with no volume sets on the 37th and
ﬁnal day. Before each session 360 mg of caffeine powder (Crystal
Light® Energy) was mixed with a branched chain amino acids-
BCAA (7 g BCAA/serving) (XTEND, Scivation™) and ingested,
then training began 20-30 minutes later. Immediately following
each session participants ingested 44 g of whey protein (Scivation
Whey, Scivation™). Caffeine was fed to aid with mood state and
recovery due to the intense, frequent, and fatiguing nature of the
training protocol. BCAAs and whey protein were administered at
doses to exceed 3 g of leucine, which has been recommended
to be effective to maximize muscle protein synthesis (10), and to
control for nutrient timing. Finally, each day participants recorded
a perceived recovery status (PRS) score (11) upon entering the
laboratory (i.e., before caffeine ingestion) and again 20-30 min-
utes following caffeine ingestion, immediately before the onset of
training, for all 37 days.
All three participants refrained from any additional exercise
for the duration of the study, aside from being permitted to per-
formthe bench press and/or military press at a frequency of
2-3 times per week. Set and repetition prescriptions for addi-
tional exercise alternated each session between 3-5 sets of 8
repetitions, 6 repetitions or 4 repetitions with an intensity of an
8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) on the repetitions in reserve
(RIR) based resistance training-speciﬁc RPE scale (12). Partici-
pants were permitted to perform minimal upper body training to
maintain strength for their respective sports in a muscle group
unrelated to squat training. Participants refrained from exercise
for 48 hours prior to day-1 of the study.
One-repetition maximum (1RM) and rating
of perceived exertion (RPE)
For each 1RM attempt athlete’s an RIR-based RPE, which was
used to aid attempt selection and gauge difﬁculty (12). Regard-
ing RIR-based RPE; an RPE of 10 corresponds to an absolute
maximum effort, a RPE of 9.5 corresponds to zero RIR but the
lifter perceived that the load could be increased and a successful
attempt would still be possible, and an RPE of 9 corresponded
to one RIR. Therefore, on pre- and post-testing days (i.e., days 1
and 37) a 1RM was recorded by one of 2 conditions: a) An RPE
of 10being recorded and the investigator determining any load
increase would not result in a successful attempt or the participant
failing on any subsequent attempt thereafter and b) a recorded
RPE of 9 or 9.5 and then the participant failing on the subsequent
attempt with a load increase of ≤ 2.5 kg. For all other 1RM days
(i.e. days 2-35), a 1RM was determined when either of the above
conditions for days 1 and 37 were met, or the additional condition
of a lift being reported as a 9.5 RPE on or after the 3rd attempt
of the day, and the investigator decided to cease attempts for
that day. During days 2-35 a 9.5 RPE on or after the 3rd attempt
was allowed as a 1RM to avoid frequent 1RM failures during the
training period. RPE was also recorded during each day’s ﬁnal
warm-up at 85% of pre-testing 1RM. All training sessions were
supervised and 1RM was performed in accordance with USAPL
rules (13) and validated 1RM procedures (12).
During all 1RM attempts, and each day’s ﬁnal warm-up set
(85% of day-1 1RM), average velocity (m•s-1) was recorded via
a Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer (TENDO Sports Machines, Trencin,
Wilks coefﬁcient is used during USAPL sanctioned competi-
tions to determine relative strength and has been validated as a
measure of relative strength (14). This coefﬁcient is calculated by
multiplying the weight lifted by a standardized bodyweight coef-
Body fat percentage (BF%) was measured during pre-, mid-,
and post-testing on days 1, 15, and 37 respectively. BF% was
estimated using the average sum of 2 skinfold thickness meas-
urements obtained from three sites (abdomen, front thigh, and
chest). If any site was > 2 mm different between measurements
then a 3rd measurement was taken. The Jackson and Pollock
formula was utilized to estimate body fat percentage (15). The
same investigator administered all skin fold measurements and
fat mass and fat free mass were extrapolated from BF% and total
Perceived recovery status (PRS)
Daily perceived recovery was measured via the PRS scale (11).
Values on the scale range from 0-10, with 10 = Very well recov-
440 M. C. Zourdos et al.
[Nutr Hosp 2016;33(2):437-443]
ered/Highly energetic and 0 = Very poorly recovered/Extremely
tired. Further, values of 0-2 were grouped as “Expect Declined
Performance”, values of 4-6 were bundled “Expect Similar Per-
formance” and values 8-10 were bundled “Expect Improved
Peformance”. The scale was administered every day immediately
upon entering the laboratory prior to caffeine ingestion and 20-30
minutes later after caffeine ingestion immediately prior to training.
Muscle thickness (Ultrasonography)
Skeletal muscle hypertrophy of the quadriceps, as measured
by muscle thickness (mm) via ultrasonography (BodyMetrix Pro,
Intelametrix, Inc. Livermore, CA.), was assessed at pre-, mid-,
and post-training on days 1, 15, and 37 respectively. Measure-
ments of the lateral quadriceps mid (LQM) and distal (LQD) sites
were taken at 50 and 70% respectively of the distance from the
greater trochanter of the femur to the lateral epicondyle of the
femur. In addition, the anterior quadriceps (AQ) was assessed at
70% of the distance from the greater trochanter of the femur to
the medial epicondyle of the femur. The same investigator both
palpated each participant for the landmarks and scanned the site
with an ultrasound transducer containing acoustic gel to produce
an image of muscle thickness (MT). All scans were performed on
the right side of the body with the transducer held perpendicular
to the skin and starting at the visible lateral muscular border and
ﬁnishing at the visible medial muscular border. The average of two
scans was used for analysis; however if the two values differed
by greater than 2 mm a third scan was performed. In the event of
a 3rd scan all three values were averaged.
Training History Questionnaire
Each individual completed a training history questionnaire dur-
ing the initial visit to obtain information regarding training age
and experience (16).
Absolute and percentage change was calculated for squat 1RM
from pre-testing (day-1) to mid-testing (day-15), pre-testing to
post-testing (day-37), and mid-testing to post-testing. Additionally,
absolute and percentage change was calculated from pre-testing
to peak 1RM (whenever the peak occurred). Further, the 36 1RMs
were divided into quartiles (i.e., quartile-1: Q1, quartile-2: Q2,
quartile-3: Q3, and quartile-4: Q4) and an average was calculated
for each quartile to examine progressive trends in strength. Simi-
larly, trends in average velocity at 1RM were examined in quartiles
as well as changes in average velocity from pre- to mid- and
post-testing and mid- to post-testing. Absolute and percentage
changes in body mass, BF%, and MT were calculated from pre- to
mid-testing, pre- to post-testing, and mid- to post-testing. Paired
sample t-tests were utilized to analyze individual participant dif-
ference in PRS scores from pre to post caffeine consumption. A
linear regression was used to examine relationships between the
following variables: time (days) and 1RM, daily 85% velocity and
1RM, daily 85% RPE and 1RM, pre-caffeine PRS and 1RM, and
post-caffeine PRS and 1RM. Correlation coefﬁcient r scores and
their associated p values were calculated for all regressions, and
were interpreted as previously described (17). All analyses were
performed using Statistica® 12.5 for Windows (StatSoft; Tulsa,
ANTHROPOMETRIC AND MUSCLE THICKNESS
Anthropometric and MT measurements at pre-testing, mid-test-
ing and post-testing and percentage change of those variables
are displayed in table I.
ONE-REPETITION MAXIMUM (1RM) SQUAT
Table II displays the pre-, mid-, peak-, and post-squat 1RM
for each participant and the signiﬁcant (p < 0.05) along with
r values for days and 1RM (r values: P1 = 0.65, P2 = 0.78,
and P3 = 0.48) over the 36 max sessions. The following chang-
es were seen from pre- to peak-1RM: P1 = +12.5 kg/+5.8%
(215.0-227.5 kg), P2 = +13.5 kg/+10.8% (125.0-138.5 kg),
Table II. Squat 1RM and percentage change at pre-, mid-, and post-testing and pre-peak
and correlations between time (days) and daily 1RM
Squat 1RM (kg) ∆ (%) r value Peak 1RM (kg)
Pre Mid Post Pre-Mid Pre-Post Pre-Peak All 1RM Sessions 1RM kg/Day established
Participant 1 215.0 222.5 222.0 3.5 2.3 5.8 0.65 227.5/35
Participant 2 125.0 130.0 138.5 4.0 10.8 10.8 0.78 138.5/37
Participant 3 220.0 232.5 241.0 5.7 9.5 9.5 0.48 241.0/37
∆ (%) = Percentage change; 1RM = One-repetition maximum.
441EFFICACY OF DAILY ONE-REPETITION MAXIMUM TRAINING IN WELL-TRAINED POWERLIFTERS AND WEIGHTLIFTERS:
A CASE SERIES
[Nutr Hosp 2016;33(2):437-443]
and P3 =+21.0 kg/+9.5% (220.0-241.0 kg). Peak 1RM for P1
occurred on day-35, while peak 1RM for P2 and P3 occurred on
day-37. Additionally, each participant experienced a decline in
squat 1RM early during the 37-day period (Figure 1). The largest
declines occurred for P1 at day-3 (-7.5 kg;-3.5%), for P2 at day-
2 (-5 kg; 4.0%), and for P3 on day-2 (-5 kg; -2.3%). Figure 1
shows the daily percentage change in 1RM for each participant.
The mean 1RMs during each quartile, for each participant can
be seen in table III.
In terms of relative strength (Wilks Coefﬁcient), P1 increased
from 146.18 on day-1 to 154.20 at peak 1RM (+5.5%). The
change in Wilks coefﬁcient for P2 from day-1 to peak 1RM was
+9.9% (100.53-110.51), while P3 increased Wilks from day-1
peak 1RM by +9.2% (129.89-141.90) (data not shown).
AVERAGE VELOCITY, RPE, AND PRS
All three participants had signiﬁcant (p < 0.05) and inverse
relationships between daily 85% RPE and daily 1RM (P1: r =
-0.70; P2: r = -0.50; P: r = -0.35). However, only P2 had a
signiﬁcant relationship between daily 85% velocity and 1RM (r
= 0.75, p < 0.05).
Regarding PRS, all three participants had signiﬁcantly greater
(p < 0.01) PRS scores immediately prior to commencement of
training (i.e., post-caffeine consumption, P1 average: -6.7, P2
average, and P3 average: -5.7) compared to pre-caffeine con-
sumption scores (P1 average: 4.8, P2 average: 6.3, and P3
average: 5.1). P1 exhibited signiﬁcant (p < 0.05) and positive
correlations between both pre- (r = 0.43) and post-caffeine (r =
0.53) consumption PRS scores and daily 1RM. Interestingly, P2
displayed a signiﬁcant and inverse correlation between pre-caf-
feine PRS and daily 1RM (r = -0.39, p < 0.05), however there was
no signiﬁcant (p > 0.05) relationship between post-caffeine PRS
and daily 1RM for P2; further there was no relationship between
either PRS time point and daily 1RM for P3.
The primary aim of this study was to examine the effects of
daily 1RM squat training followed by volume sets over the course
of 37 consecutive days on maximal strength in three experienced
and competitive lifters. The main ﬁnding of this study was that
all three participants exhibited signiﬁcant positive relationships
between time (days) and 1RM (P1: r = 0.65, p < 0.05; P2: r =
0.48, p < 0.05; P3: r = 0.78, p < 0.05). Percentage increases
in 1RM from day-1 to peak were: P1 = +5.8%, P2 = +10.8%,
P3 = +9.5%. The main ﬁndings support our hypothesis as daily
maximal and volume squat training substantially increased 1RM
in well-trained powerlifters and weightlifters and is in support of
the view that engaging in highly speciﬁc training can generate
substantial strength gains in well-trained lifters (5).
Daily percentage change in squat 1RM for each of the 36 maximal training sessions in all 3 participants.
Table III. Average 1RM during each quartile
and percentage change in average 1RM
from Q1 to Q4
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 ∆ (%)
Participant 1 213.0 219.2 218.9 221.7 +4.1
Participant 2 124.2 129.8 131.9 134.6 +8.4
Participant 3 222.9 230.3 228.3 229.8 +3.1
Mean 186.7 193.1 193.0 195.4 +5.2
Q1 = Quartile 1, days 1-9; Q2 = Quartile 2, days 10-18; Q3 = Quartile 3,
days 19-27; Q4 = Quartile 4, days 28-35, 37; ∆ (%) = Percentage change;
1RM = One-repetition maximum; Mean = Average of all 3 participants.
% CHANGE FROM DAY 1
442 M. C. Zourdos et al.
[Nutr Hosp 2016;33(2):437-443]
To our knowledge, the present study was the ﬁrst to investigate
the efﬁcacy of daily 1RM and volume training on maximal strength.
A plausible explanation for the considerable strength increases in
well-trained lifters is the resultant neuromuscular adaptations of
ultra-speciﬁc training. In support, is the analysis of daily average
velocity, as data exists demonstrating average velocity at 1RM
to have an inverse relationship with training status (12). Indeed,
average velocities in the present study decreased from Q1: (P1:
0.20, P2: 0.34, and P3: 0.21 m•s-1) to Q4 (P1: 0.17/-15.0%,
P2: 0.30/-11.8%, and P3: 0.20/-13.0%). Our results were con-
sistent with previous literature (12) in that average velocity at
1RM was inversely associated with training status, as P1 (highest
Wilks Coefﬁcient) had the slowest mean average velocity over
all 36 1RM sessions (0.19m•s-1), followed by P3 who had the
2nd highest relative strength (0.22m•s-1), and ﬁnally P2 who
had the lowest Wilks coefﬁcient and the highest average velocity
(0.32m•s-1) over the 36 maximal sessions. Therefore, in well-
trained lifters neuromuscular adaptations still occur with high
Both rapid and sizeable strength increases occur in novice popula-
tions (6), however, the rate of strength gain is considerably attenuated
in well-trained individuals. Indeed, previous data have shown elite
weightlifters to enhance lower body strength 3.5% over 1 year(18).
Presently, we observed substantial changes, greater than the 3.5%
previously found, in 1RM from pre-to-peak in lifters with ≥ 5 yrs. of
training experience (P1: +12.5 kg/+5.8%; P2: +13.5 kg/+10.8%;
P3: +21 kg/9.5%). It is probable that the daily volume sets were
contributory in producing the considerable strength gains, as recent
data has shown that strength may be volume-dependent in com-
petitive lifters (16). It must be noted that the robust increasesin
strength were not without an initial decline. Consistent with the
GAS (7) each participant achieved the described ‘alarm reaction’
stage following day-1. Speciﬁcally, on day-2, P2 (-5 kg/4.0%) and
P3 (-5kg/-2.3%) experienced their largest 1RM decline, while P1
experienced the largest decline on day-3 (-7.5 kg/-3.5%). Thus, even
though each participant displayed a signiﬁcant relationship between
time and 1RM, this was not without an initial adaptation period (i.e.
overreaching). Furthermore, there was a mean change of +5.2% in
1RM from Q1-Q4 among all three participants (Table II).
Regarding hypertrophy, ﬁndings were inconsistent, as all three
participants experienced a positive percentage change in MT from
day-1 to day-37 at two sites measured, but we also observed a
decline in MT at one site for each participant (Table I). Interestingly,
P1 and P2 displayed a greater increase in MT in terms of the
sum of all 3 sites at mid-testing (P1: +10.38%, P2: +14.54%)
compared to post-testing (P1: +4.38%, P2: -3.54%). A possible
explanation greater MT increases at mid- versus post-testing in
P1 and P2 is muscle edema due to myoﬁber damage (19), rather
than true muscle hypertrophy. However, to counter the edema
argument 1RM was increased at mid-testing in all 3 participants.
Subsequently, as the training period continued participants made
further adaptation to the repeated stimulus, resulting in continued
strength enhancement. Ultimately, it is difﬁcult to deduce if muscle
edema existed at mid-point testing; however, it seems likely that
neural factors and skill adaptation (i.e. technical efﬁciency) of the
squat played the predominant role in enhancing 1RM strength in
the present investigation due to speciﬁcity.
We anticipated substantial fatigue due to the demanding train-
ing protocol, thus participants’ indicated training readiness via
the PRS scale before training each day; while RIR-based RPE and
average velocity at 85% of pre-testing 1RM were collected daily to
analyze as possible predictors of daily 1RM. Interestingly, neither
pre-training PRS scores nor 85% average velocity were consist-
ently related to performance. However, all three participants had
signiﬁcant (p < 0.05) inverse relationships between daily RPE at
85% and daily 1RM (P1: r = -0.70; P2: r = -0.50, and P3: r =
-0.35). Therefore, pre-training self-perceived recovery may not
be as strong of a performance indicator compared to RPE/RIR
after the onset of training. Thus, if determining daily training load
based upon athlete-feedback (i.e. autoregulation) (12), it may be
Relationship between the daily RPE at 85% of pre-testing 1RM squat and the
daily 1RM squat. Figure 2A depicts the relationship in participant-1, ﬁgure 2B
depicts the relationship in participant-2 and ﬁgure 2C depicts the relationship in
participant-3. RPE = Rating of perceived exertion; 1RM = One-repetition maxi-
mum. R-value stated within the ﬁgure; all relationships are signiﬁcant (p < 0.05).
443EFFICACY OF DAILY ONE-REPETITION MAXIMUM TRAINING IN WELL-TRAINED POWERLIFTERS AND WEIGHTLIFTERS:
A CASE SERIES
[Nutr Hosp 2016;33(2):437-443]
most appropriate to make decisions once the warm-up period has
started rather than beforehand.
The following limitations of the current study do exist: a) only
three individual cases were examined and b) the daily 1RM protocol
employed was not compared to a control group performing tradi-
tional periodization/frequency. To counter, it is important to note that
this investigation achieved signiﬁcant novelty as the ﬁrst to examine
daily 1RM training in experienced lifters. Furthermore, this data col-
lection is arduous and is impractical to carryout in a larger sample
due to the uniquely fatiguing nature, thus the authors deemed it
prudent to present a small case series as a basis for efﬁcacy.
In conclusion, performing daily 1RM and volume back squat train-
ing volume produced robust changes in 1RM for three competitive
strength athletes (P1: +12.5 kg/5.8%, P2: +13.5 kg/10.85%, and
P3: +21.0 kg/9.5%) respectively from pre- to peak-1RM with sig-
niﬁcant positive relationships between time (days) and 1RM for each
athlete. However, despite the promising results for daily 1RM training
in the current study, it is imperative to state that caution must be used
when implementing such an intensive training strategy. Moreover, in
practice, many questions remain regarding the length of time this
type of training is sustainable and how to incorporate this strategy
within a macrocycle. It is unlikely this type of training can nor should
be maintained year-round and rather may be more appropriate as
a single intensity block (mesocycle) to peak for competition within a
macrocycle of sound periodization principles. Furthermore, it is advis-
able that only lifters with multiple years of training experience and
technical proﬁciency should engage in daily 1RM training; novice/
intermediate trainees can make progress with much lower volume/
frequency and should take advantage of the opportunity to progress
with less demanding training. Importantly, daily 1RM training may
enhance injury risk for novice individuals. Therefore, lifters/coaches
must use appropriate discretion regarding training status and spec-
iﬁcity of goals when considering this training strategy.
The authors have no relationships to disclose and no monetary
funding was received to support this project. The authors would like
to thank Jacob A. Goldsmith and Anthony J. Krahwinkel for their
assistance with data collection. Finally, the authors are appreciative
of Scivation® for providing supplementation for this project.
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