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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate muscular adaptations between low-, moderate-, and high-volume resistance training (RT) protocols in resistance-trained men. Methods: Thirty-four healthy resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental groups: a low-volume group (1SET) performing 1 set per exercise per training session (n = 11); a moderate-volume group (3SET) performing 3 sets per exercise per training session (n = 12); or a high-volume group (5SET) performing 5 sets per exercise per training session (n = 11). Training for all routines consisted of three weekly sessions performed on non-consecutive days for 8 weeks. Muscular strength was evaluated with 1 repetition maximum (RM) testing for the squat and bench press. Upper-body muscle endurance was evaluated using 50% of subjects bench press 1RM performed to momentary failure. Muscle hypertrophy was evaluated using B-mode ultrasonography for the elbow flexors, elbow extensors, mid-thigh and lateral thigh. Results: Results showed significant pre-to-post intervention increases in strength and endurance in all groups, with no significant between-group differences. Alternatively, while all groups increased muscle size in most of the measured sites from pre-to-post intervention, significant increases favoring the higher volume conditions were seen for the elbow flexors, mid-thigh, and lateral thigh. Conclusion: Marked increases in strength and endurance can be attained by resistance-trained individuals with just three, 13-minute weekly sessions over an 8-week period, and these gains are similar to that achieved with a substantially greater time commitment. Alternatively, muscle hypertrophy follows a dose-response relationship, with increasingly greater gains achieved with higher training volumes.
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Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle
Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men
BRAD J. SCHOENFELD
1
, BRET CONTRERAS
2
, JAMES KRIEGER
3
, JOZO GRGIC
4
, KENNETH DELCASTILLO
1
,
RAMON BELLIARD
1
, and ANDREW ALTO
1
1
Department of Health Sciences, CUNY Lehman College, Bronx, NY;
2
Sport Performance Research Institute, AUT University,
Auckland, NEW ZEALAND;
3
Weightology, LLC, Redmond, WA; and
4
Institute for Health and Sport (IHES), Victoria
University, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
ABSTRACT
SCHOENFELD, B. J., B. CONTRERAS, J. KRIEGER, J. GRGIC, K. DELCASTILLO, R. BELLIARD, and A. ALTO. Resistance
Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 51, No. 1, pp. 94–103,
2019. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate muscular adaptations between low-, moderate-, and high-volume resistance
training protocols in resistance-trained men. Methods: Thirty-four healthy resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to one of three
experimental groups: a low-volume group performing one set per exercise per training session (n= 11), a moderate-volume group
performing three sets per exercise per training session (n= 12), or a high-volume group performing five sets per exercise per training
session (n= 11). Training for all routines consisted of three weekly sessions performed on nonconsecutive days for 8 wk. Muscular
strength was evaluated with one repetition maximum (RM) testing for the squat and bench press. Upper-body muscle endurance was
evaluated using 50% of subjects bench press 1RM performed to momentary failure. Muscle hypertrophy was evaluated using B-mode
ultrasonography for the elbow flexors, elbow extensors, mid-thigh, and lateral thigh. Results: Results showed significant preintervention
to postintervention increases in strength and endurance in all groups, with no significant between-group differences. Alternatively, while
all groups increased muscle size in most of the measured sites from preintervention to postintervention, significant increases favoring the
higher-volume conditions were seen for the elbow flexors, mid-thigh, and lateral thigh. Conclusions: Marked increases in strength and
endurance can be attained by resistance-trained individuals with just three 13-min weekly sessions over an 8-wk period, and these gains
are similar to that achieved with a substantially greater time commitment. Alternatively, muscle hypertrophy follows a dose–response
relationship, with increasingly greater gains achieved with higher training volumes. Key Words: VOLUME, DOSE–RESPONSE
RELATIONSHIP, STRENGTH TRAINING, HYPERTROPHY, SINGLE SET
Resistance training (RT) is the primary exercise in-
tervention for increasing muscle mass in humans. It
is theorized that the volume of training performed in
a RT bout—herein determined by the formula: repetitions //
sets (1)—plays a significant role in chronic muscular adapta-
tions such as muscle size and strength (2). As compared with
single-set routines, acute studies indicate that performing
multiple sets augments the phosphorylation of p70S6 kinase
and muscle protein synthesis (MPS), suggesting that higher
volumes of training are warranted for maximizing the hy-
pertrophic response (3,4). However, although acute signaling
and MPS studies can help to generate hypotheses as to po-
tential long-term RT responses, longitudinal studies directly
assessing hallmark adaptations, such as muscular strength and
muscle hypertrophy, are necessary to draw evidence-based
conclusions for exercise prescription (5).
When evaluating the results of longitudinal research on
the topic, many of the studies have failed to show statistically
significant differences in hypertrophy between lower and
higher RT volumes. However, low sample sizes in these studies
raise the potential for type II errors, invariably confounding the
ability to draw conclusive inferences regarding probability. A
recent meta-analysis showed a dose–response relationship be-
tween the total number of weekly sets and increases in muscle
growth (6). However, the analysis was only able to determine
dose–response effects up to 10 total weekly sets per muscle
group due to the paucity of research on higher-volume RT
programs. Thus, it remains unclear whether training with even
higher volumes would continue to enhance hypertrophic
Address for correspondence: Brad J. Schoenfeld, Ph.D., CUNY Lehman
College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd West, Bronx, NY 10468; E-mail:
brad@workout911.com.
Submitted for publication June 2018.
Accepted for publication August 2018.
0195-9131/19/5101-0094/0
MEDICINE & SCIENCE IN SPORTS & EXERCISE
Ò
Copyright Ó2018 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.
on behalf of the American College of Sports Medicine. This is an open-
access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-
ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it
is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used com-
mercially without permission from the journal.
DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001764
94
APPLIED SCIENCES
adaptations and, if so, at what point these results would pla-
teau.Anaddedlimitationtothesefindingsisthatonlytwoof
the 15 studies that met inclusion criteria were carried out in
individuals with previous RT experience. There is compelling
evidence that resistance-trained individuals respond differently
than those who are new to RT (7). A ‘‘ceiling effect’’ makes it
progressively more difficult for trained lifters to increase
muscle mass, thereby necessitating more demanding RT pro-
tocols to elicit further muscular gains. Indeed, there is
emerging evidence that consistent RT can alter anabolic in-
tracellular signaling (8), indicating an attenuated hypertrophic
response. Thus, findings from untrained individuals cannot
necessarily be generalized to a resistance-trained population.
A dose–response pattern has also been proposed for RT
volume and muscular strength gains. A recent meta-analysis
on the topic by Ralston et al. (9) showed that moderate to
high weekly training volumes (defined as set volume) are
more effective for strength gains as compared with lower
training volumes. It should be noted, however, that only two
of the included studies used a dose–response study design
among trained individuals. In a sample of 32 resistance-
trained men, Marshall et al. (10) demonstrated that higher-
volume training produces both faster and greater strength
gains as compared with lower-volume training. In contrast to
these results, Ostrowski et al. (11) conducted a study among
27 trained men and reported similar changes in muscular
strength between low-, moderate- and high-volume training
groups. Both of these studies included resistance-trained
men, yet they observed different findings. It, therefore, is
evident that further work among trained individuals is
warranted to better elucidate this topic.
Given the existing gaps in the current literature, the pur-
pose of this study was to evaluate muscular adaptations be-
tween low-, moderate-, and high-volume RT protocols in
resistance-trained men. This design afforded the ability to
glean insight into the benefits of the respective training
protocols while taking into account the time efficiency of
training. Based on previous research and meta-analytical
data, we hypothesized that there would be a graded response
to outcomes, with increasing gains in muscular strength and
hypertrophy seen in low-, moderate-, and high-volume pro-
grams, respectively.
METHODS
Subjects
Subjects were 45 healthy male volunteers (height, 175.0 T
7.9 cm; weight, 82.5 T13.8 kg; age, 23.8 T3.8 yr; RT ex-
perience, 4.4 T3.9 yr) recruited from a university popula-
tion. This sample size was justified by a priori power
analysis in G*power using a target effect size (ES) of f=0.25,
alpha of 0.05 and power of 0.80, which determined that
36 subjects were required for participation; the additional re-
cruitment accounted for the possibility of dropouts. Subjects
were required to meet the following inclusion criteria: 1)
males between the ages of 18 to 35 yr, 2) no existing
musculoskeletal disorders, 3) claimed to be free from con-
sumption of anabolic steroids or any other legal or illegal
agents known to increase muscle size for the previous year, 4)
experienced with RT, defined as consistently lifting weights at
least three times per week for a minimum of 1 yr.
Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three experi-
mental groups: a low-volume group (1SET) performing one
set per exercise per training session (n= 15), a moderate-
volume group (3SET) performing three sets per exercise per
training session (n= 15), or a high-volume group (5SET)
performing five sets per exercise per training session (n=15).
Using previously established criteria (12), this translated into
a total weekly number of sets per muscle group of six and
nine sets for 1SET, 18 and 27 sets for 3SET, and 30 and 45
sets for 5SET in the upper and lower limbs, respectively. The
number of sets was greater for the lower-body musculature as
compared to the upper-body musculature. Such a training
program was designed based on the claim that lower-body
muscles might require more training volume (as compared
with the upper body) to optimize muscular adaptations with
RT (13). Approval for the study was obtained from the
Lehman College Institutional Review Board (2017-0778).
Informed consent was obtained from all subjects before
beginning the study.
RT Procedures
The RT protocol consisted of seven exercises per session
targeting all major muscle groups of the body. The exercises
performed were: flat barbell bench press, barbell military
press, wide grip lateral pulldown, seated cable row, barbell back
squat, machine leg press, and unilateral machine leg extension.
These exercises were chosen based on their common inclusion in
bodybuilding- and strength-type RT programs (14,15). To pre-
vent confounding, subjects were instructed to refrain from
performing any additional resistance-type or high-intensity an-
aerobic training for the duration of the study.
Training for all routines consisted of three weekly ses-
sions performed on nonconsecutive days for 8 wk. Sets
consisted of 8 to 12 repetitions carried out to the point of
momentary concentric failure, that is, the inability to per-
form another concentric repetition while maintaining proper
form. The cadence of repetitions was carried out in a con-
trolled fashion, with a concentric action of approximately 1 s
and an eccentric action of approximately 2 s. Subjects were
afforded 90-s rest between sets. The time between exercises
was prolonged to approximately 120 s given the additional
time required for the setup of the equipment used in the
subsequent resistance exercise. The load was adjusted for
each exercise as needed on successive sets to ensure that
subjects achieved momentary failure in the target repetition
range. Thus, if a subject completed more than 12 repetitions
to momentary failure in a given set, the load was increased
based on the supervising researcher’s assessment of what
would be required to reach momentary failure in the desired
loading range; if less than eight repetitions were
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accomplished, the load was similarly decreased. All routines
were directly supervised by the research team to ensure
proper performance of the respective routines. Attempts
were made to progressively increase the loads lifted each
week to ensure that the subjects were exercising with as
much resistance as possible within the confines of maintaining
the target repetition range. Before training, subjects underwent
10 repetition maximum (RM) testing to determine individual
initial training loads for each exercise. Repetition maximum
testing was consistent with recognized guidelines as established
by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (14).
Dietary Adherence
To avoid potential dietary confounding of results, subjects
were advised to maintain their customary nutritional regi-
men and to avoid taking any supplements other than those
provided in the course of the study. Dietary adherence was
assessed by self-reported food records using a nutritional
tracking application (http://www.myfitnesspal.com), which
was collected for 5-d periods twice during the study: 1 wk
before the first training session (i.e., baseline) and during the
final week of the training protocol. Subjects were instructed
on how to properly record all food items and their respective
portion sizes consumed for the designated period of interest.
Each item of food was individually entered into the program,
and the program provided relevant information as to total
energy consumption, as well as amount of energy derived
from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for each time period
analyzed. To help ensure that dietary protein needs were met,
subjects consumed a supplement on training days containing
24gproteinand1gcarbohydrate(Iso100HydrolyzedWhey
Protein Isolate; Dymatize Nutrition, Dallas, TX) under the
supervision of the research staff.
Measurements
Anthropometry. Subjects were told to refrain from
eating for 12 h before testing, eliminate alcohol consumption
for 24 h, abstain from strenuous exercise for 24 h, and void
immediately before the test. Height was measured to the
nearest 0.1 cm using a stadiometer. Body mass was mea-
sured to the nearest 0.1 kg on a calibrated scale (InBody
770; Biospace Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea).
Muscle thickness. Ultrasound imaging was used to
obtain measurements of muscle thickness (MT), which
shows a high correlation with RT-induced changes in
muscle cross-sectional area as determined by the ‘‘gold
standard’’ magnetic resonance imaging (16). As reported by
others, correlations between magnetic resonance imaging
and ultrasound measurements amount to 0.89, 0.73, and 0.91
for elbow flexors, elbow extensors, and quadriceps MT, re-
spectively (17,18). The lead researcher, a trained ultrasound
technician, performed all testing using a B-mode ultrasound
imaging unit (ECO3; Chison Medical Imaging, Ltd, Jiang Su
Province, China). The technician applied a water-soluble
transmission gel (Aquasonic 100 Ultrasound Transmission
gel; Parker Laboratories Inc., Fairfield, NJ) to each measure-
ment site, and a 5- to 10-MHz ultrasound probe was placed
perpendicular to the tissue interface without depressing the
skin. When the quality of the image was deemed satisfactory,
the technician saved the image to hard drive and obtained MT
dimensions by measuring the distance from the subcutaneous
adipose tissue–muscle interface to the muscle–bone interface.
Measurements were taken on the right side of the body at four
sites: 1) elbow flexors, 2) elbow extensors, 3) mid-thigh (a
composite of the rectus femoris and vastus intermedius), and
4) lateral thigh (a composite of the vastus lateralis and vastus
intermedius). For the anterior and posterior upper arm,
measurements were taken 60% distal between the lateral
epicondyle of the humerus and the acromion process of the
scapula; mid- and lateral thigh measurements were taken
50% between the lateral condyle of the femur and greater
trochanter for the quadriceps femoris. In an effort to ensure
that swelling in the muscles from training did not obscure
results, images were obtained 48 to 72 h before commence-
ment of the study, as well as after the final RT session. This is
consistent with research showing that acute increases in MT
return to baseline within 48 h after an RT session (19). To
further ensure accuracy of measurements, three images
were obtained for each site and then averaged to obtain a
final value. The between-day repeatability of ultrasound
tests was assessed in a pilot study in a sample of 10 young
resistance-trained men. The test–retest intraclass correla-
tion coefficient (ICC) from our lab for thickness measure-
ment of the elbow flexors, elbow extensors, mid-thigh and
lateral thigh as assessed on consecutive days are 0.976,
0.950, 0.944 and 0.998, respectively. The standard error of
the measurement (SEM) for elbow flexor, elbow extensor,
mid-thigh, and lateral thigh MT was 0.70, 0.83, and 1.09,
and 0.34 mm, respectively.
Maximal Strength Assessments
Muscle strength. Upper- and lower-body strength was
assessed by 1RM testing in the barbell parallel back squat
(1RM
SQUAT
) and flat barbell bench press (1RM
BENCH
) ex-
ercises. These exercises were chosen because they are well
established as measures of maximal strength. Subjects
reported to the laboratory having refrained from any exercise
other than activities of daily living for at least 48 h before
baseline testing and at least 48 h before testing at the con-
clusion of the study. RM testing was consistent with rec-
ognized guidelines established by the National Strength and
Conditioning Association (14). In brief, subjects performed
a general warm-up before testing that consisted of light car-
diovascularexerciselastingapproximately5to10min.A
specific warm-up set of the given exercise of 8 to 10 repetitions
was performed at ~50% of subjects_perceived 1RM followed
by one to two sets of two to three repetitions at a load corre-
sponding to approximately 60% to 80% 1RM. Subjects then
performed sets of one repetition of increasing weight for 1RM
determination. Three- to 5-min rest was provided between each
http://www.acsm-msse.org96 Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine
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successive attempt. All 1RM determinations were made within
five trials. Subjects were required to reach parallel in the
1RM
SQUAT
for the attempt to be considered successful as de-
termined by a squat beeper (SquatRight); confirmation of squat
depth was obtained by a research assistant positioned laterally
to the subject to ensure accuracy. Successful 1RM
BENCH
was
achieved if the subject displayed a five-point body contact po-
sition (head, upper back, and buttocks firmly on the bench with
both feet flat on the floor) and executed full-elbow extension.
1RM
SQUAT
testing was conducted before 1RM
BENCH
with a
5-min rest period separating tests. Recording of foot and hand
placement was made during baseline 1RM testing and then
used for poststudy performance. All testing sessions were
supervised by the research team to achieve a consensus for
success on each trial. The repeatability of strength tests was
assessed on two nonconsecutive days in a pilot study of six
young, resistance-trained men. The ICC for the 1RM
BENCH
and 1RM
SQUAT
was 0.98 and 0.93, respectively. The SEM
for these measures are 2.0 and 2.4 kg, respectively.
Muscle endurance. Upper-body muscular endurance
was assessed by performing the bench press using 50% of
the subject_s initial 1RM in the bench press (50% BP) for as
many repetitions as possible to momentary failure with
proper form. Successful performance was achieved if the
subject displayed a five-point body contact position (head,
upper back, and buttocks firmly on the bench with both feet
flat on the floor) and executed a full lock-out. Muscular
endurance testing was carried out after assessment of muscular
strength to minimize effects of metabolic stress interfering with
performance of the latter. The repeatability of the muscular
endurance test was assessed on two nonconsecutive days in a
pilot study of seven young resistance-trained men. The ICC
for the 50% BP was 0.93, and the SEM was 0.99 repetitions.
Statistical Analyses
Data were modeled using both a frequentist and Bayesian
approach. The frequentist approach involved a using an
ANCOVA on the change scores, with group (one, three, or
five sets) as the factor and with the baseline value as a co-
variate. The Bayesian approach involved a JZS Bayes Factor
ANCOVA with default prior scales. In the case of a signif-
icant ANCOVA effect, control for the familywise error rate
of multiple testing was performed using a Holm–Bonferroni
correction. In the Bayes Factor ANCOVA, the posterior odds
were corrected for multiple testing by fixing to 0.5 the prior
probability that the null hypothesis holds across all comparisons.
Analyses were performed using JASP 0.8.6 (Amsterdam, The
Netherlands). Effects were considered significant at Pe0.05.
Bayes factors for effects were interpreted as ‘‘weak,’’ ‘‘positive,’
‘strong,’’ or ‘‘very strong’’ according to Raftery (20). Data are
reported as x¯TSD unless otherwise specified.
RESULTS
Eleven subjects dropped out during the course of the study,
resulting in a total sample of 34 subjects (1SET, n= 11; 3SET,
n= 12; 5SET, n= 11). Reasons for dropouts were as follows:
personal reasons, 4; noncompliance, 3; training-related injury,
2; injury unrelated to training, 2. Thus, the study was slightly
underpowered based on initial power analysis. All subjects
included in the final statistical analysis completed 980% of
sessions with an overall average attendance of 94%. Average
training time per session was approximately 13 min for 1SET,
approximately40minfor3SET,andapproximately68min
for 5SET. Figure 1 depicts the data collection process in
flowchart format.
Squat 1RM. We were unable to gauge successful 1RM
in one of the subjects from 1SET and one of the subjects from
3SET in the allotted number of trials, and thus had to exclude their
data from analysis. There was no significant difference between
groups in squat 1RM improvement, and evidence favored the
null model (P=0.22;BF
10
G1; Table 1; Figure 2A).
Bench 1RM. There was no significant difference between
groups in bench 1RM improvement, and there was weak
evidence favoring a difference in pretest bench 1RM over a
group difference in bench press improvement (P=0.15;BF
10
G1
for group differences; Table 1; Figure 2B).
Bench endurance. There was no significant difference
between groups in bench endurance improvement, and evi-
dence favored the null model (P= 0.52; BF
10
G1; Table 1;
Figure 2C).
Elbow flexor thickness. There was a significant dif-
ference between groups in improvements in bicep thick-
ness, and positive evidence in favor of a group effect over
the null (P=0.02;BF
10
= 3.04; Table 1; Figure 3A). Post hoc
comparisons showed a significant difference between one
and five sets (Table 1). There was positive evidence in fa-
vor of five sets compared with one set (BF
10
= 4.71) and
weak evidence in favor of three sets compared with one set
(BF
10
= 1.30). Evidence did not favor three sets versus five
sets (BF
10
=0.60).
Elbow extensor thickness. We were unable to achieve
satisfactory imaging in one of the subjects from 3SET, and
thus had to exclude his data from analysis. There was no
significant difference between groups in the improvement
in triceps thickness, and evidence favored the null model
(P= 0.19; BF
10
G1; Table 1; Figure 3B).
Mid-thigh thickness. We were unable to achieve sat-
isfactory imaging in three of the subjects from 3SET and
two of the subjects from 5SET, and thus had to exclude their
data from analysis. There was a significant difference between
groups in improvements in rectus femoris thickness, and positive
evidence in favor of a group effect over the null (P=0.02;BF
10
=
8.51; Table 1; Figure 3C). Post hoc comparisons showed a
significant difference between one and five sets (Table 1).
There was positive evidence in favor of five sets compared to
one set (BF
10
= 13.65) and weak evidence in favor of five
sets compared with three sets (BF
10
= 2.34). Evidence did
not favor one set versus three sets (BF
10
=0.51).
Lateral thigh thickness. There was a significant dif-
ference between groups in improvements in vastus lateralis
thickness, and strong evidence in favor of both a group
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effect and pretest effect over the null (P= 0.006; BF
10
=
63.87; Table 1; Figure 3D). Post hoc comparisons showed a
significant difference between one and five sets (Table 1).
There was strong evidence in favor of five sets compared to
one set (BF
10
= 38.14) and weak evidence in favor of three
sets compared with one set (BF
10
= 1.42) and five sets
compared to three sets (BF
10
= 2.25).
Diet. There were no significant differences between
groups in changes in self-reported kilocalorie or macronu-
trient intake (Table 1). There was positive evidence in favor
TABLE 1. Data of study outcomes.
Outcomes Group
Pre,
Mean TSD
Post,
Mean TSD
Unadjusted,
$(TSD)
P
(Group)
BF
10
(Group)
BF
10
(Pre)
BF
10
(Group + Pre)
Baseline
Adjusted $(CI)*
Squat 1RM (kg) 1 104.5 T14.2 123.4 T12.9 18.9 T6.0 0.22 0.78 0.82 0.53 18.6 (13.7 to 23.4)
3 114.9 T26.0 128.5 T24.7 13.6 T5.4 14.1 (9.5 to 18.7)
5 106.6 T24.0 126.2 T25.0 19.6 T10.0 19.5 (14.9 to 24.0)
Bench 1RM (kg) 1 93.6 T16.1 102.9 T15.2 9.3 T4.4 0.15 0.71 1.35** 0.99 9.3 (6.9 to 11.9)
3 96.4 T21.2 102.1 T20.1 5.7 T5.8 5.9 (3.4 to 8.4)
5 91.1 T20.9 97.9 T20.0 6.8 T2.3 6.6 (4.0 to 9.2)
Bench endurance 1 25.1 T3.6 28.2 T4.6 3.1 T3.9 0.52 0.30 0.37 0.11 3.1 (0.8 to 5.4)
3 23.7 T5.2 28.0 T5.6 4.3 T4.1 4.2 (2.0 to 6.4)
5 26.2 T4.3 31.0 T6.1 4.8 T2.9 4.9 (2.6 to 7.3)
Biceps thickness (mm) 1 42.6 T4.3 43.3 T5.1 0.7 T2.0 0.02*** 3.04** 0.33 1.03 0.7 (j0.4 to 1.8)
a
3 44.6 T5.9 46.7 T5.8 2.1 T1.6 2.1 (1.1 to 3.2)
ab
5 41.9 T3.6 44.8 T4.1 2.9 T1.7 2.9 (1.8 to 4.0)
b
Triceps thickness (mm) 1 47.2 T4.5 47.7 T4.6 0.6 T2.0 0.19 0.66 0.35 0.33 0.5 (j1.0 to 2.1)
3 48.4 T6.2 49.8 T6.3 1.4 T3.1 1.4 (j0.1 to 3.0)
5 47.1 T3.5 49.7 T4.9 2.6 T2.3 2.6 (1.0 to 4.1)
Rectus femoris thickness (mm) 1 59.7 T6.7 61.7 T5.5 2.0 T2.6 0.02*** 8.51** 1.74 6.75 2.2 (0.3 to 4.2)
a
3 57.9 T8.1 61.0 T8.7 3.0 T3.1 3.1 (1.0 to 5.2)
ab
5 54.4 T3.4 61.2 T4.5 6.8 T3.6 6.4 (4.2 to 8.6)
b
Vastus lateralis thickness (mm) 1 57.5 T6.0 60.4 T6.3 2.9 T1.9 0.006*** 38.14 5.81 63.87** 3.1 (1.6 to 4.5)
a
3 57.9 T8.0 62.5 T7.0 4.6 T2.3 4.9 (3.5 to 6.3)
ab
5 52.4 T6.2 59.6 T5.8 7.2 T3.0 6.8 (5.2 to 8.3)
b
Values are in mean TSD.
*Adjusted means are significantly different if superscript letters are different, based on all pairwise comparisons with a Holm adjustment.
**Preferred model based on highest BF
10
Q1.
***Significant at Pe0.05.
95% CI, 95% confidence interval.
FIGURE 1—Flowchart of data collection process.
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of baseline differences in self-reported kilocalorie intake
(BF
10
= 10.26; Table 1), but only weak evidence in favor of
baseline differences in self-reported macronutrient intake
(1 GBF
10
G3, Table 2).
DISCUSSION
The present study provided several important findings
that further our knowledge of the effect of RT volume on
muscular adaptations in resistance-trained individuals.
Specifically, changes in muscle strength and muscle en-
durance were similar regardless of the volume performed
when training in a moderate loading range (8–12 repetitions
per set); alternatively, higher volumes of training in this
loading range were associated with greater increases in
markers of muscle hypertrophy. We discuss the particulars
of these findings, as well as the study_s limitations, in the
subheadings below.
FIGURE 3—Prestudy to poststudy changes in MT for each condition. (A) Elbow flexors; (B) elbow extensors; (C) mid-thigh; (D) lateral thigh. All
values are in millimeters.
FIGURE 2—Prestudy to poststudy changes in muscle strength and endurance for each condition. (A) 1RM bench press; (B) 1RM squat; (C) upper
body muscular endurance. Values for 1RM
BENCH
and RM
SQUAT
are in kilograms; values for 50%BP are in repetitions.
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Muscle strength. Contrary to our initial hypothesis,
gains in muscular strength were strikingly similar across
conditions, with volume showing no differential effects on
1RM
SQUAT
or 1RM
BENCH
. Indeed, the results presented
herein indicate that the 1SET training condition may be sim-
ilarly effective at increasing muscular strength as performing
three or five sets per exercise. These findings indicate
that resistance-trained individuals can markedly enhance
levels of strength by performing only ~39 min of weekly
RT, with gains equal to that achieved in a fivefold greater
time commitment.
Our results are somewhat in contrast to the meta-analysis by
Ralston et al. (9). The authors reported that for strength in
multijoint exercises (as used in this study), moderate-to-high
weekly set volume routines (defined as six or more sets per
week) are more effective than low weekly set volume routines
(defined as five sets or less per week). Albeit, it should be made
clear that the ES difference was rather small (ES, 0.18; 95%
confidence interval, 0.01–0.34). Although in this study, the
1SET group did perform the least amount of volume, their total
weekly volume of six to nine sets per muscle group would be
classified as a moderate volume in the Ralston et al. (9) review.
To allow direct comparison of our results with the meta-
analysis mentioned-above an additional group that trained with
five or fewer sets per week would need to be included. Also, it
needs to be pointed out that the studies included in the meta-
analysis by Ralston et al. (9) used exercise prescriptions and
loading schemes that were different to those used in the present
study. Given the differences in the weekly set configurations,
it is difficult to compare these results with the meta-analysis by
Ralston et al. (9).
Three individual studies thus far have used a comparable
study design. Radaelli et al. (21) compared the effects of 6, 18,
and 30 weekly sets per muscle group. All groups increased
strength postintervention in all four tested exercises. However,
for the bench press and lat-pulldown exercises, the 30 weekly
set group experienced greater increases than the two other
groups. Given that their subjects did not have any RT experience
it might be that the greater strength gains in the 30 weekly set
group are due to the greater opportunities to practice the ex-
ercise and thus an enhanced ‘‘learning’ effect (22). Also, their
intervention lasted 6 months, whereas the present study had a
duration of 8 wk. It might be that higher training volumes
become of greater importance for strength gains over longer
time courses; future studies exploring this topic using longer
duration interventions are needed to confirm this hypothesis.
Marshall et al. (10) examined the effects of three different
doses of volume on barbell back squat strength. The authors
compared the effect of 2, 8, and 16 weekly sets of squats (the
only resistance exercise for lower-body) and reported that
the 16 weekly sets group increased strength significantly
greater than the two weekly sets group. Although the authors
did include trained men, the main part of the training inter-
vention lasted 6 wk with a twice-weekly frequency, which
differs from the present study design. The authors used mid-
point testing after 3 wk of training and found that the 8 and
16 weekly set volume groups increased strength from baseline
while the two-weekly set group did not. Following the
remaining 3 wk, all groups increased strength from their
baseline values. However, the 16 weekly set group had greater
increases than the 2, but not the eight set group. Although we
did not use midpoint testing, it remains possible that the
higher-volume groups increased strength to a greater point
during the initial phases (e.g., in the first 4 wk), and that
these gains then leveled off between the groups by the end
of the intervention. Furthermore, it might be that subjects in
the high-volume group approached an overtraining (i.e.,
nonfunctional overreaching) status toward the end of the
training program, which might have impacted their levels of
strength at the postassessment. Future studies done on this
topic might consider using multiple strength testing points
during the intervention to explore if there are any differ-
ences in the time course of muscular strength accrual be-
tween different volumes of training.
Ostrowski et al. (11) reported that after 10 wk of training,
all groups increased upper and lower-body strength with no
significant between-group differences. Taken together with
the findings of Ostrowski et al. (11), our results would imply
that for strength improvements, there is a certain threshold
of volume that can be used in a training program, over which
further increases in volume are not advantageous, and might
only delay recovery from exercise. From a strength perspective,
TABLE 2. Nutritional data.
Outcome Groups Pre, Mean TSD Post, Mean TSD Unadjusted $(TSD) P(Group) BF
10
(Group) BF
10
(Pre) BF
10
(Group + Pre) Baseline Adjusted $(CI)*
Kcal 1 1752 T608 1790 T601 38 T445 0.31 0.48 10.26** 4.70 j75 (j417 to 268)
3 2041 T642 2198 T356 157 T703 175 (j130 to 479)
5 2190 T617 1961 T812 j229 T535 j144 (j468 to 179)
Protein (g) 1 114 T48 120 T49 7 T40 0.94 0.23 1.06** 0.23 3 (j28 to 34)
3 128 T46 127 T48 j1T48 0 (j28 to 28)
5 131 T48 125 T71 j6T56 j4(j33 to 25)
Carbohydrate (g) 1 195 T101 148 T103 j47 T79 0.24 0.31 2.94** 1.38 j55 (j100 to j11)
3 227 T91 205 T74 j22 T82 j20 (j60 to 20)
5 239 T128 229 T119 j10 T63 j4(j47 to 38)
Fat (g) 1 60 T30 75 T51 14 T53 0.16 0.52 1.39** 0.96 13 (j9to35)
367T40 89 T39 22 T33 23 (3 to 44)
560T27 57 T24 j4T14 j5(j26 to 16)
Values are in mean TSD.
*Adjusted means are significantly different if superscript letters are different, based on all pairwise comparisons with a Holm adjustment.
**Preferred model based on highest BF
10
Q1.
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APPLIED SCIENCES
the findings would imply that a lower training volume routine
is equally effective to a higher training volume routine. Fur-
thermore, a lower-volume approach would be a more time-
efficient way of training, which might ultimately facilitate
better adherence given that time is commonly purported as a
factor influencing training adherence (23,24). Indeed, the
subjects in the 1SET group, on average, trained approxi-
mately 13 min per training session, whereas the 3SET and
5SET groups trained approximately 40 and 68 min, respec-
tively. It should be made clear that our results are specific to
training in the 8 to 12 RM range. It is possible that a different
pattern would emerge if the subjects trained with higher (or
lower) loads. For instance, training in the 1 to 5 RM zone
might require more volume, given that there would be less
‘practice’’ with a lower repetition range. Future studies,
therefore, might consider using a more strength-specific rep-
etition range to further explore this topic.
Muscle hypertrophy. The results of the present study
show a graded dose–response relationship between training
volume and muscle hypertrophy in a sample of resistance-
trained men. Our findings essentially mirror recent meta-
analytic data showing a dose–response relationship between
volume and hypertrophy (6). The present study indicates
that substantially greater training volumes may be beneficial
in enhancing muscle growth in those with previous RT ex-
perience, at least over an 8-wk training period. Hypertrophy
for three of the four measured muscles was significantly
greater for the highest versus lowest volume condition. Only
the elbow extensors did not show statistically greater in-
creases in MT between conditions. However, only the 5SET
condition showed a significant prestudy to poststudy in-
crease in elbow extensor growth, whereas measures of hy-
pertrophy in the lower volume conditions (i.e., 1SET and
3SET groups) were not statistically different. Moreover, a
dose–response relationship was seen for the magnitude of
effect in elbow extensor thickness changes, with ES values
of 0.12, 0.30, and 0.55 for the low-, moderate-, and high-
volume conditions, respectively.
Most previous researches investigating the effects of
varying RT volumes on muscular adaptations have been
carried out in those without RT experience. Only one pre-
vious study endeavored to examine the dose–response rela-
tionship (i.e., a minimum of three different set volumes)
between training volume and muscle growth in resistance-
trained individuals using site-specific measures of hyper-
trophy (11). In the 10-wk study, resistance-trained men were
allocated either to a: (a) low-volume group (three to seven
sets per muscle group per week); (b) moderate-volume
group (6–14 sets per muscle group per week); or (c) high-
volume group (12–28 sets per muscle group per week).
Results showed that percent changes and ES for muscle
growth in the elbow extensors and quadriceps femoris fa-
vored the high-volume group. However, no statistically
significant differences were noted between groups. When
comparing the results of Ostrowski et al. (11) to the present
study, there were notable similarities that lend support to the
role of volume as a potent driver of hypertrophy. Changes in
triceps brachii MT in Ostrowski et al. (11) study were 2.2%
for the lowest volume condition (seven sets per muscle per
week) and 4.7% for the highest-volume condition (28 sets
per muscle per week). Similarly, our study showed changes
in elbow extensor MT of 1.1% versus 5.5% for the lowest
(six sets per muscle per week) versus highest (30 sets per
muscle per week) volume conditions, respectively. Regard-
ing lower-body hypertrophy, Ostrowski et al. (11) showed
an increase of 6.8% in quadriceps MT for the lowest volume
condition (three sets per muscle per week) while growth in
the highest volume condition (12 sets per muscle per week)
was 13.1%. Again, these findings are fairly consistent with
those of the present study, which found an increase in mid-
thigh hypertrophy of 3.4% versus 12.5% and lateral thigh
hypertrophy of 5.0% versus 13.7% in the lowest and highest
volume conditions, respectively. It should be noted that the
lower-body volume was substantially greater in our study
for all conditions compared to Ostrowski et al. (11). Inter-
estingly, the group performing the lowest volume for the
lower-body performed nine sets in our study, which ap-
proaches the highest volume condition in Ostrowski et al.
(11), yet much greater levels of volume were required to
achieve similar hypertrophic responses in the quadriceps.
The reason for these discrepancies remains unclear.
Muscle endurance. All conditions showed similar
improvements in the test used for assessing muscular
endurance (i.e., the 50%BP test). To the best of our
knowledge, this is the first study that investigated the dose–
response effects of training volume on muscular endurance
adaptations in trained men. Similar to the findings presented
for strength, all groups increased muscular endurance from
pre-to-post with no significant between-group differences.
These findings indicate that training for improvements in
muscular abilities such as strength and muscular endurance
warrants a different volume prescription than when the
training goal is muscular hypertrophy. These differences in
the dose–response curves might be because muscular abil-
ities such as endurance have a significant skill component to
it. In other words, adaptations such as muscular endurance,
are, to a certain extent, influenced by motor learning (i.e.,
individuals learn the specific patterns of muscle recruitment
associated with performance of a given task) (25). Indeed,
studies that utilized training programs in which one group
trained with a repetition range that mimics the strength test,
while the other group trained with a repetition range which
was more similar to the endurance test, show that the latter
had greater improvements in muscular endurance; albeit, not
in all tested muscle groups (22). Furthermore, it is also rele-
vant to emphasize that the participants in all of the three
training groups trained used similar loading conditions.
Therefore, although we did not directly assess this variable,
all of the participants did likely experience similar levels of
discomfort associated with exercise (26). Level of discomfort
might be an important variable to consider given that the
ability to better tolerate discomfort may contribute to the
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increase in high-intensity exercise tolerance (exercise such as
the 50%BP test) (27). Thus, given that the discomfort with
training was likely similar between the groups, this might
explain the comparable increases in muscular endurance in all
three groups. Future studies done on this topic may wish to
explore this hypothesis further.
To the best of our knowledge, only one study examined the
dose–response effects between volume and muscular endur-
ance adaptations; albeit, this work was done in untrained in-
dividuals. In their study, Radaelli et al. (21) reported the 16-set
and 30-set groups increased muscular endurance pre-to-post
intervention as assessed by the 20 RM bench press test. The
increases in the 30-set group were greater than in the 16-set
group, and also, the increase in the 16-set group was greater
than the values observed in the 6-set group. For lower-body,
there was a significant increase in muscular endurance in all
groups, and the greatest increase was seen in the 30-set group.
Again, as with strength, it might be that more practice in the
higher-volume group resulted in greater gains in muscular
endurance. Given that the Radaelli et al. (21) study included
untrained individuals and their training program lasted
for 6 months, the comparison of their results with the results of
the present study remains limited. Also, in the present study,
we assessed only upper-body muscular endurance. Therefore,
these results cannot necessarily be generalized to the lower-
body musculature. Future work among trained individuals on
this topic is warranted.
Limitations. The study had several limitations that must
be taken into account when attempting to draw evidence-
based inferences. First, all subjects reported performing
multiset routines before the onset of the study and a majority
did not regularly train to momentary failure. It is unclear
how the novelty of altering these variables affected the re-
spective groups. Second, the upper-body musculature was
trained exclusively with multijoint exercises. These exer-
cises involve extensive involvement of the elbow flexors
and elbow extensors, as shown in the significant arm muscle
hypertrophy achieved with their consistent use (28,29). In-
deed, research indicates similar changes both in upper arm
MT and circumference when performing multijoint versus
single-joint exercises in untrained and trained individuals,
respectively (30,31). That said, it remains possible that single-
joint exercises for the arm musculature may become more
important to hypertrophy when training with low volumes;
further study on the topic is warranted. Third, measurements
of MT were obtained only at the mid-portion of the muscle
belly. Although this region is often used as a proxy of
the overall growth of a given muscle, research indicates
that hypertrophy manifests in a regional-specific manner, with
greater gains sometimes seen at the proximal and/or distal
aspects (32,33). Although it is possible that differences in
training volumes may have resulted in differential segmental
hypertrophy of a given muscle that was not detected by our
assessment method, there does not appear to be a sound ra-
tionale by which this would occur from manipulating volume,
making it unlikely that this confounded results. Fourth, al-
though subjects were instructed not to perform any additional
exercise training during the study, we cannot entirely rule out
that they failed to follow our guidelines. Fifth, the study had a
relatively small sample size and thus may have been some-
what underpowered to detect significant changes between
groups in certain outcomes. Sixth, while ultrasound is a well-
established method of assessing changes in markers of mus-
cle hypertrophy, it is not clear how the magnitude of the
reported changes impact aesthetic appearance. Finally, find-
ings of our study are specific to young resistance-trained men
and, therefore, cannot necessarily be generalized to other
populations, including adolescents, women, and older adults.
CONCLUSIONS
The present study shows that marked increases in strength
can be attained by resistance-trained individuals with just
three 13-min sessions per week, and that gains are similar to
that achieved with a substantially greater time commitment
when training in a moderate loading range (8–12 repetitions
per set). This finding has important implications for those
who are time-pressed, allowing the ability to get stronger in an
efficient manner, and may help to promote greater exercise ad-
herence in the general public. Alternatively, we show that increases
in muscle hypertrophy follow a dose–response relationship, with
increasingly greater gains achieved with higher training volumes.
Thus, those seeking to maximize muscular growth need to allot a
greater amount of weekly time to achieve this goal. Further re-
search is warranted to determine how these findings apply to re-
sistance individuals in other populations, such as women and
the elderly. Volume does not appear to have any differential
effects on measures of upper-body muscular endurance.
The authors would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the fol-
lowing research assistants, without whom this study could not have
taken place: Patricia Fuentes, Shamel Jaime, Andriy Karp, Francis
Turbi, Christian Morales, Paco Almanzar, Chris Morrison, Lexis Beato,
Chaochi Lee, Elisha Edwards, Shailyn Mock, Leila Nasr, Antoine
Steward, Miguel Villafone, Solyi Lee, Joseph Ohmer, Marisela Santana,
Chicneccu Forde, Jonathan Mejia, Martin Bueno, Kevin Carranza,
MaChris Dampor, Mark Cells, Jason Abas, Abdul Pressley, Jonathan Davila,
Griselda Acevedo and Maria Hernandez. The authors also wish to thank
Dymatize Nutrition for supplying the protein supplements used in the study.
Finally, the authors are grateful to Andrew Vigotsky for his advice and rec-
ommendations on the statistical analyses. The results of this study are
presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification, or inap-
propriate data manipulation, and do not constitute endorsement by ACSM.
This study was supported by a PSC CUNY grant from the State of
New York.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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... 124 Schoenfeld et al studied the increase in strength and muscle mass after different volumes of training. 125 They classified training volume by total number of sets: low-volume group (1SET), moderate-volume group (3SET), highvolume group (5SET) performing one, three or five sets per exercise per training session, respectively. Each group trained three sessions per week. ...
... Therefore, low volume training can be used as a time-efficient way for strength training. 125 A study conducted on athletes showed that moderate volume exercise contributes more to strength gains in high intensity exercise than low volume and high volume, but this result needed to be verified if it can be applied to old people with sarcopenia. 126 Nevertheless, higher volume was more effective than lower volume training on inducing muscle hypertrophy. ...
... 126 Nevertheless, higher volume was more effective than lower volume training on inducing muscle hypertrophy. 125,127 Meta-analysis depicted the dose-response relationship between training volume and muscle hypertrophy, as a higher increase in muscle mass was induced by higher weekly training volumes. 128 Physiological responses resulting from low volume HIIT have been studied. ...
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... For example, Pareja-Blanco and colleagues (2017) showed that performing sets of back squats with a 20% velocity loss threshold almost halved the number of repetitions performed across an 8-week intervention compared with using a 40% velocity loss threshold. A lower volume-load may be detrimental if muscle hypertrophy is the main desired outcome (Pareja-Blanco et al., 2017;Schoenfeld et al., 2019) but may lead to comparable strength gains as higher-load resistance training (Pareja-Blanco et al., 2017;Schoenfeld et al., 2019). A lower resistance training volume may ensure preparedness for other aspects of training and allow for greater training frequency due to a faster recovery of neuromuscular function (Bartolomei et al., 2017). ...
... For example, Pareja-Blanco and colleagues (2017) showed that performing sets of back squats with a 20% velocity loss threshold almost halved the number of repetitions performed across an 8-week intervention compared with using a 40% velocity loss threshold. A lower volume-load may be detrimental if muscle hypertrophy is the main desired outcome (Pareja-Blanco et al., 2017;Schoenfeld et al., 2019) but may lead to comparable strength gains as higher-load resistance training (Pareja-Blanco et al., 2017;Schoenfeld et al., 2019). A lower resistance training volume may ensure preparedness for other aspects of training and allow for greater training frequency due to a faster recovery of neuromuscular function (Bartolomei et al., 2017). ...
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We estimated the effectiveness of using velocity feedback to regulate resistance training load on changes in muscle strength, power, and linear sprint speed in apparently healthy participants. Academic and grey literature databases were systematically searched to identify randomised trials that compared a velocity-based training intervention to a 'traditional' resistance training intervention that did not use velocity feedback. Standardised mean differences (SMDs) were pooled using a random effects model. Risk of bias was assessed with the Risk of Bias 2 tool and the quality of evidence was evaluated using the GRADE approach. Four trials met the eligibility criteria, comprising 27 effect estimates and 88 participants. The main analyses showed trivial differences and imprecise interval estimates for effects on muscle strength (SMD 0.06, 95% CI -0.51-0.63; I2 = 42.9%; 10 effects from 4 studies; low-quality evidence), power (SMD 0.11, 95% CI -0.28-0.49; I2 = 13.5%; 10 effects from 3 studies; low-quality evidence), and sprint speed (SMD -0.10, 95% CI -0.72-0.53; I2 = 30.0%; 7 effects from 2 studies; very low-quality evidence). The results were robust to various sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, there is currently no evidence that VBT and traditional resistance training methods lead to different alterations in muscle strength, power, or linear sprint speed.
... MT is directly associated with the anatomical cross-sectional area and muscle volume (Franchi et al., 2018). Therefore, the MT measurement can be considered an important variable that allows monitoring the modifications resulting from different treatments such as resistance training (Schoenfeld et al., 2019), electrical stimulation (Devrimsel et al., 2019) and stretching routines (Lima et al., 2015). ...
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The image obtained by static ultrasonography (US), despite being a validated measure to identify muscle thickness (MT), has a visualization capacity limited by the size of the transducer. The extended field of view (EFOV) is a more recent technique of obtaining muscle images by the US, which allows observing MT over the entire length of the muscle. The purpose of the study was to determine the reliability and the intra- and inter-rater error of the MT measurement in the proximal, medial and distal portions of the vastus lateralis using the EFOV US. Twenty-five men (age = 24 ± 4 years) paid a visit to the laboratory. Two independent US technicians identified the anatomical landmarks and collected the images using EFOV US, with a 4 cm linear transducer, 10 MHz frequency and 6 cm image depth. After all collections, a third researcher codified the images, which were sent to two independent image raters. After a week, the images were shuffled, recoded and sent back to the same evaluators. The values of the typical error of the measurement, coefficient of variation and intraclass correlation coefficient intra and inter-rater ranged between 0.01 and 0.03 cm, 0.47 and 2.32%, 0.990 and 0.998, respectively, for the two evaluators. The Bland-Altman analysis indicated high agreement and homoscedastic error of all comparisons. The high reliability and low errors observed, less than the increments typically found in training studies, reveal the great potential for EFOV US to determine MT in different portions of the vastus lateralis muscle.
... In contrast, resistance training (high-resistance, low-repetition exercises) results in the skeletal muscle adaptations such as increased force output [6], muscle hypertrophy [7] and, possibly, hyperplasia [8]. Short-and long-term studies of highly strength-trained athletes (STA) indicate that resistance training, specifically continuous and prolonged circuit resistance training, enhances the toleration of physiological environments where high cardiovascular demands and higher lactate concentrations are present [9]. ...
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Citation: Jurasz, M.; Boraczyński, M.; Laskin, J.J.; Kamelska-Sadowska, A.M.; Podstawski, R.; Jaszczur-Nowicki, J.; Nowakowski, J.J.; Gronek, P. Acute Cardiorespiratory and Metabolic Responses to Incremental Cycling Exercise in Endurance-and Strength-Trained Athletes. Biology 2022, 11, 643. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050643
... It does however involve a significant within-session training load volume, which is beneficial for strength and hypertrophy [136]. High volume training may be advantageous or necessary in some cases [137,138], but improvements were still anticipated among participants with the lowest training load volume, as low volume resistance training can still improve muscle strength and functional performance in older adults, with no evidence of non-responsiveness [139]. An unexpected finding of the present study was the linear increase in training load after face-to-face training stopped, when participants were required to train at home with limited access to kettlebells. ...
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The Ballistic Exercise of the Lower Limb (BELL) trial examined the efficacy and safety of a pragmatic hardstyle kettlebell training program in older adults. Insufficiently active men and women aged 59–79 years, were recruited to a 6-month repeated measures study, involving 3-months usual activity and 3-months progressive hardstyle kettlebell training. Health-related physical fitness outcomes included: grip strength [GS], 6-min walk distance [6MWD], resting heart rate [HR], stair-climb [SC], leg extensor strength [LES], hip extensor strength [HES], Sit-To-Stand [STS], vertical jump [CMVJ], five-times floor transfer [5xFT], 1RM deadlift, body composition (DXA), attendance, and adverse events. Sixteen males (68.8 ± 4.6 yrs, 176.2 ± 7.8 cm, 90.7 ± 11.0 kg, 29.2 ± 2.6 kg/m²) and sixteen females (68.6 ± 4.7 yrs, 163.9 ± 5.4 cm, 70.4 ± 12.7 kg, 26.3 ± 4.9 kg/m²) were recruited. Compliance with the supervised exercise program was very high (91.5%). Kettlebell training increased GS (R: MD = 7.1 kg 95% CI [4.9, 9.3], L: MD = 6.3 kg 95% CI [4.1, 8.4]), 6MWD (41.7 m, 95% CI [17.9, 65.5]), 1RM (16.2 kg, 95% CI [2.4, 30.0]), 30 s STS (3.3 reps, 95% CI [0.9, 5.7]), LES (R: MD = 61.6 N, 95% CI [4.4, 118.8]), HES (L: MD = 21.0 N,95% CI [4.2,37.8]), appendicular skeletal lean mass (MD = 0.65 kg, 95% CI [0.08, 1.22]), self-reported health change (17.1%, 95% CI [4.4, 29.8]) and decreased SC time (2.7 s, 95% CI [0.2, 5.2]), 5xFT time (6.0 s, 95% CI [2.2, 9.8]) and resting HR (7.4 bpm, 95% CI [0.7, 14.1]). There were four non-serious adverse events. Mean individual training load for group training sessions during the trial was 100,977 ± 9,050 kg. High-intensity hardstyle kettlebell training was well tolerated and improved grip strength and measures of health-related physical fitness in insufficiently active older adults. Trial registration: Prospectively registered: 20/08/2019, Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12619001177145).
... In contrast, resistance training (high-resistance, low-repetition exercises) results in the skeletal muscle adaptations such as increased force output [6], muscle hypertrophy [7] and, possibly, hyperplasia [8]. Short-and long-term studies of highly strength-trained athletes (STA) indicate that resistance training, specifically continuous and prolonged circuit resistance training, enhances the toleration of physiological environments where high cardiovascular demands and higher lactate concentrations are present [9]. ...
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Citation: Jurasz, M.; Boraczyński, M.; Laskin, J.J.; Kamelska-Sadowska, A.M.; Podstawski, R.; Jaszczur-Nowicki, J.; Nowakowski, J.J.; Gronek, P. Acute Cardiorespiratory and Metabolic Responses to Incremental Cycling Exercise in Endurance-and Strength-Trained Athletes. Biology 2022, 11, 643. https://doi.
... Numerous studies have been conducted investigating the manipulation of resistance training variables other than the number of repetitions per set to enhance LME. These variables include inter-set recovery [57,58], number of sets [59][60][61][62], and following a periodized program [63,64]. However, for all these studies, there was no significant difference between groups with and without the manipulated variable for LME assessed via %1RM POST . ...
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Objectives To examine the effect of total repetitions per set on local muscular endurance (LME) assessed via maximal repetitions to concentric muscular failure using loads based on a percentage of pre-intervention one-repetition maximum (%1RMPRE) and post-intervention 1RM (%1RMPOST). News Four electronic databases were searched using terms related to LME and resistance training. Studies were deemed eligible for inclusion if they met a strict criteria. Random effects (Hedges’ g) meta-analyses were undertaken to estimate the effect of lower versus higher repetitions on LME assessed via two methods. Possible predictors that may have influenced training-related effects were explored using univariate analyses. Fourteen studies were included in this review. There was a large effect in favour of a higher number of repetitions per set for LME assessed by %1RMPOST (g = 0.97, P < 0.001, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.40), but no difference when assessed by %1RMPRE (g = 0.09, P = 0.49, 95% CI −0.17 to 0.35). A sub-analysis revealed a large effect in favour of high repetitions (median range of 18–125) compared to moderate repetitions (median range of 7–13) for LME assessed by %1RMPOST (g = 1.08, P < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.60 to 1.56). “Changes in strength” moderated the lower versus higher repetition effects on LME assessed by %1RMPOST (P = 0.002). Conclusion Resistance training with a higher number of repetitions (≥ 15) is more effective than lower repetitions for enhancing LME when assessed using a given percentage of post-intervention 1RM but not pre-intervention 1RM.
... 26 Furthermore, strength adaptations appear to be easier to attain compared to increases in muscle size, possibly based on neural adaptations. This is evidenced by studies showing: (a) much larger effect sizes for increases in strength compared to hypertrophy, 27 (b) studies showing contralateral strength adaptations, 28 (c) a potentially lesser stimulus for equivalent strength increases compared to hypertrophy (e.g., single sets seem to produce similar strength increases to multiple set training, whereas multiple sets seem to produce greater hypertrophic adaptations compared to single sets 29 ), and (d) that strength increases precede muscle size increases due to neural adaptations and development of the motor schema. 30 In this sense, it might be that increasing strength requires a lesser stimulus and thus training at a lesser intensity of effort (e.g., not to failure) might produce equivocal adaptations compared to training to failure, whereas hypertrophy requires a greater stimulus and thus requires a greater intensity of effort. ...
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International Journal of Exercise Science 15(4): X-Y, 2022. The regular practice of resistance training (RT) has been shown to induce relevant increases in both muscle strength and size. In order to maximize these adaptations, the proper manipulation of RT variables is warranted. In this sense, the aim of the present study was to review the available literature that has examined the application of the acute training variables and their influence on strength and morphological adaptations of healthy young adults. The information presented in this study may represent a relevant approach to proper training design. Therefore, strength and conditioning coaches may acquire a fundamental understanding of RT-variables and the relevance of their practical application within exercise prescription.
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Objective: To identify current evidence on blood flow restriction training (BFRT) in tendon injuries and healthy tendons, evaluating physiological tendon effects, intervention parameters and outcomes. Methods: This scoping review was reported in accordance with the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). Databases searched included MEDLINE, CINAHL, AMED, EMBase, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane library (Controlled trials, Systematic reviews), and five trial registries. Two independent reviewers screened studies at title/abstract and full text. Following screening, data was extracted and charted, and presented as figures and tables alongside a narrative synthesis. Any study design conducted on adults, investigating the effects of BFRT on healthy tendons or tendon pathology were included. Data were extracted on physiological tendon effects, and intervention parameters and outcomes with BFRT. Results: 13 studies were included, 3 on tendinopathy, 2 on tendon ruptures and 8 on healthy Achilles, patellar, supraspinatus and vastus lateralis tendons. A variety of outcomes were assessed, including pain, function, strength, and tendon morphological and mechanical properties, particularly changes in tendon thickness. BFRT intervention parameters were heterogeneously prescribed. Conclusion: Despite a dearth of studies to date on the effects of BFRT on healthy tendons and in tendon pathologies, preliminary evidence for beneficial effects of BFRT on tendons and clinical outcomes is encouraging. As BFRT is a relatively novel method, definitive conclusions, and recommendations on BFRT in tendon rehabilitation cannot be made at present, which should be addressed in future research, due to the potential therapeutic benefits highlighted in this review.
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Background There is a lack of research considering acute fatigue responses to high- and low-load resistance training as well as the comparison between male and female responses. Furthermore, limited studies have considered fatigue response testing with the inclusion of perceptions of discomfort and exertion. Methods The present study included males (n = 9; 23.8 ± 6.4 years; 176.7 ± 6.2 cm; 73.9 ± 9.3 kg) and females (n = 8; 21.3 ± 0.9 years; 170.5 ± 6.1 cm; 65.5 ± 10.8 kg) who were assessed for differences in fatigue (i.e., loss of torque at maximal voluntary contraction (MVC)) immediately following isolated lumbar extension (ILEX) exercise at heavy- (HL) and light-(LL) loads (80% and 50% MVC, respectively). Participants also reported perceptual measures of effort (RPE-E) and discomfort (RPE-D) between different resistance training protocols. Results Analysis of variance revealed significantly greater absolute and relative fatigue following LL compared to HL conditions (p < 0.001). Absolute fatigue significantly differed between males and females (p = 0.012), though relative fatigue was not significantly different (p = 0.160). However, effect sizes for absolute fatigue (HL; Males = −1.84, Females = −0.83; LL; Males = −3.11, Females = −2.39) and relative fatigue (HL; Males = −2.17, Females = −0.76; LL; Males = −3.36, Females = −3.08) were larger for males in both HL and LL conditions. RPE-E was maximal for all participants in both conditions, but RPE-D was significantly higher in LL compared to HL (p < 0.001) with no difference between males and females. Discussion Our data suggests that females do not incur the same degree of fatigue as males following similar exercise protocols, and indeed that females might be able to sustain longer exercise duration at the same relative loads. As such females should manipulate training variables accordingly, perhaps performing greater repetitions at a relative load, or using heavier relative loads than males. Furthermore, since lighter load exercise is often prescribed in rehabilitation settings (particularly for the lumbar extensors) it seems prudent to know that this might not be necessary to strengthen musculature and indeed might be contraindicated to avoid the increased fatigue and discomfort associated with LL exercise.
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Purpose: To examine the effect of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) compared to volume-matched moderate-intensity continuous training (CONT) on muscle pain tolerance and high-intensity exercise tolerance. Methods: Twenty healthy adults were randomly assigned (1:1) to either 6 weeks of HIIT [6-8 × 5 min at halfway between lactate threshold and maximal oxygen uptake (50%Δ)] or volume-matched CONT (~60-80 min at 90% lactate threshold) on a cycle ergometer. A tourniquet test to examine muscle pain tolerance and two time to exhaustion (TTE) trials at 50%Δ to examine exercise tolerance were completed pre- and post-training; the post-training TTE trials were completed at the pre-training 50%Δ (same absolute-intensity) and the post-training 50%Δ (same relative-intensity). Results: HIIT and CONT resulted in similar improvements in markers of aerobic fitness (all P ≥ 0.081). HIIT increased TTE at the same absolute- and relative-intensity as pre-training (148 and 43%, respectively) to a greater extent than CONT (38 and -4%, respectively) (both P ≤ 0.019). HIIT increased pain tolerance (41%, P < 0.001), whereas CONT had no effect (-3%, P = 0.720). Changes in pain tolerance demonstrated positive relationships with changes in TTE at the same absolute- (r = 0.44, P = 0.027) and relative-intensity (r = 0.51, P = 0.011) as pre-training. Conclusion: The repeated exposure to a high-intensity training stimulus increases muscle pain tolerance, which is independent of the improvements in aerobic fitness induced by endurance training, and may contribute to the increase in high-intensity exercise tolerance following HIIT.
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Aim: Muscle thickness (MT) measured by ultrasound has been used to estimate cross-sectional area (measured by CT and MRI) at a single time-point. We tested whether MT could be used as a valid marker of MRI determined muscle anatomical cross-sectional area (ACSA) and volume changes following resistance training (RT). Methods: Nine healthy, young, male volunteers (24±2 y.o., BMI 24.1±2.8 kg/m(2) ) had vastus lateralis (VL) muscle volume (VOL) and ACSA mid (at 50% of femur length, FL) assessed by MRI, and VL MT measured by ultrasound at 50% FL. Measurements were taken at baseline and after 12 weeks of isokinetic RT. Differences between baseline and post-training were assessed by Student's paired t-test. The relationships between MRI and ultrasound measurements were tested by Pearson's correlation. Results: After RT, MT increased by 7.5±6.1% (p<0.001), ACSAmid by 5.2±5% (p<0.001) and VOL by 5.0±6.9% (p<0.05) (values: means±S.D.). Positive correlations were found, at baseline and 12 weeks, between MT and ACSAmid (r=0.82, p<0.001 and r=0.73, p<0.001, respectively), and between MT and VOL (r=0.76, p < 0.001 and r=0.73, p < 0.001, respectively). The % change in MT with training was correlated with % change in ACSAmid (r=0.69, p = 0.01), but not % change in VOL (r= 0.33, p>0.05). Conclusions: These data support evidence that MT is a reliable index of muscle ACSAmid and VOL at a single time-point. MT changes following RT are associated with parallel changes in muscle ACSAmid but not with the changes in VOL, highlighting the impact of RT on regional hypertrophy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Exercise and sport sciences continue to grow as a collective set of disciplines by investigating a broad array of basic and applied research questions. Despite the progress, there is room for improvement. A number of problems pertaining to reliability and validity of research practices hinder advancement and the potential impact of the field. These problems include: 1) inadequate validation of surrogate outcomes, 2) too few longitudinal and 3) replication studies, 4) limited reporting of null or trivial results, and 5) insufficient scientific transparency. The purpose of this review is to discuss these problems as they pertain to exercise and sport sciences based on their treatment in other disciplines, namely psychology and medicine, and propose a number of solutions and recommendations.
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Background Strength training set organisation and its relationship to the development of muscular strength have yet to be clearly defined. Current meta-analytical research suggests that different population groups have distinctive muscular adaptations, primarily due to the prescription of the strength training set dose. Objectives We conducted a meta-analysis with restrictive inclusion criteria and examined the potential effects of low (LWS), medium (MWS) or high weekly set (HWS) strength training on muscular strength per exercise. Secondly, we examined strength gain variations when performing multi-joint or isolation exercises, and probed for a potential relationship between weekly set number and stage of subjects’ training (trained versus untrained). Methods Computerised searches were performed on PubMed, MEDLINE, SWETSWISE, EMBASE and SPORTDiscus™ using the terms ‘strength training’, ‘resistance training’, ‘single sets’, ‘multiple sets’ and ‘volume’. As of September 2016, 6962 potentially relevant studies were identified. After review, nine studies were deemed eligible per pre-set inclusion criteria. Primary data were pooled using a random-effect model. Outcomes for strength gain, strength gain with multi-joint and isolation exercise were analysed for main effects. Sensitivity analyses were calculated for several subgroups by separating the data set and by calculation of separate analyses for each subgroup. Heterogeneity between studies was assessed using the Cochran Q and I2 statistics. ResultsPre- versus post-training strength analysis comprised 61 treatment groups from nine studies. For combined multi-joint and isolation exercises, pre- versus post- training strength gains were greater with HWS compared with LWS [mean effect size (ES) 0.18; 95% CI 0.06–0.30; p = 0.003]. The mean ES for LWS was 0.82 (95% CI 0.47–1.17). The mean ES for HWS was 1.01 (95% CI 0.70–1.32). Separate analysis of the effects of pre- versus post-training strength for LWS or MWS observed marginally greater strength gains with MWS compared with LWS (ES 0.15; 95% CI 0.01–0.30; p = 0.04). The mean ES for LWS was 0.83 (95% CI 0.53–1.13). The mean ES for MWS was 0.98 (95% CI 0.62–1.34). For multi-joint exercises, greater strength gains were observed with HWS compared with LWS (ES 0.18; 95% CI 0.01–0.34; p = 0.04). The mean ES for LWS was 0.81 (95% CI 0.65–0.97). The mean ES for HWS was 1.00 (95% CI 0.77–1.23). For isolation exercises, greater strength gains were observed with HWS compared with LWS (ES 0.23; 95% CI 0.06–0.40; p = 0.008). The mean ES for LWS was 0.95 (95% CI 0.30–1.60). The mean ES for HWS was 1.10 (95% CI 0.26–1.94). For multi-joint and isolation exercise-specific one repetition maximum (1 RM), marginally greater strength gains were observed with HWS compared with LWS (ES 0.14; 95% CI −0.01 to 0.29; p = 0.06). The mean ES for LWS was 0.80 (95% CI 0.47–1.13). The mean ES for HWS was 0.97 (95% CI 0.68–1.26). Conclusion This meta-analysis presents additional evidence regarding a graded dose–response relationship between weekly sets performed and strength gain. The use of MWS and HWS was more effective than LWS, with LWS producing the smallest pre- to post-training strength difference. For novice and intermediate male trainees, the findings suggest that LWSs do not lead to strength gains compared with MWS or HWS training. For those trainees in the middle ground, not a novice and not advanced, the existing data provide a relationship between weekly sets and strength gain as set configurations produced different pre- to post-training strength increases. For well trained individuals, the use of either MWS or HWS may be an appropriate dose to produce strength gains.
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The purpose of the present study was to evaluate muscular adaptations between heavy- and moderate-load resistance train-ing (RT) with all other variables controlled between conditions. Nineteen resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to either a strength-type RT routine (HEAVY) that trained in a loading range of 2-4 repetitions per set (n = 10) or a hypertro-phy-type RT routine (MODERATE) that trained in a loading range of 8-12 repetitions per set (n = 9). Training was carried out 3 days a week for 8 weeks. Both groups performed 3 sets of 7 exercises for the major muscle groups of the upper and lower body. Subjects were tested pre- and post-study for: 1 repetition maximum (RM) strength in the bench press and squat, upper body muscle endurance, and muscle thickness of the elbow flexors, elbow extensors, and lateral thigh. Results showed statistically greater increases in 1RM squat strength favoring HEAVY compared to MODERATE. Alternatively, statistically greater increases in lateral thigh muscle thickness were noted for MODERATE versus HEAVY. These findings indicate that heavy load training is superior for maximal strength goals while moderate load training is more suited to hypertrophy-related goals when an equal number of sets are performed between conditions.
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Studies examining resistance training are of importance given that increasing or maintaining muscle mass aids in the prevention or attenuation of chronic disease. Within the literature, it is common practice to administer a set number of target repetitions to be completed by all individuals (i.e. 3 sets of 10) while setting the load relative to each individual?s predetermined strength level (usually a one-repetition maximum). This is done under the assumption that all individuals are receiving a similar stimulus upon completing the protocol, but this does not take into account individual variability with regard to how fatiguing the protocol actually is. Another limitation that exists within the current literature is the reporting of exercise volume in absolute or relative terms that are not truly replicable as they are both load-dependent and will differ based on the number of repetitions individuals can complete at a given relative load. Given that the level of fatigue caused by an exercise protocol is a good indicator of its hypertrophic potential, the most appropriate way to ensure all individuals are given a common stimulus is to prescribe exercise to volitional fatigue. While some authors commonly employ this practice, others still prescribe an arbitrary number of repetitions, which may lead to unfair comparisons between exercise protocols. The purpose of this opinion piece is to provide evidence for the need to standardize studies examining muscle hypertrophy. In our opinion, one way in which this can be accomplished is by prescribing all sets to volitional fatigue.
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The purpose of this paper was to systematically review the current literature and elucidate the effects of total weekly resistance training (RT) volume on changes in measures of muscle mass via meta-regression. The final analysis comprised 34 treatment groups from 15 studies. Outcomes for weekly sets as a continuous variable showed a significant effect of volume on changes in muscle size (P = 0.002). Each additional set was associated with an increase in effect size (ES) of 0.023 corresponding to an increase in the percentage gain by 0.37%. Outcomes for weekly sets categorised as lower or higher within each study showed a significant effect of volume on changes in muscle size (P = 0.03); the ES difference between higher and lower volumes was 0.241, which equated to a percentage gain difference of 3.9%. Outcomes for weekly sets as a three-level categorical variable (<5, 5-9 and 10+ per muscle) showed a trend for an effect of weekly sets (P = 0.074). The findings indicate a graded dose-response relationship whereby increases in RT volume produce greater gains in muscle hypertrophy.
Article
Purpose: To determine if muscle growth is important for increasing muscle strength or if changes in strength can be entirely explained from practicing the strength test. Methods: Thirty-eight untrained individuals performed knee extension and chest press exercise for 8 weeks. Individuals were randomly assigned to either a high-volume training group (HYPER) or a group just performing the one repetition maximum (1RM) strength test (TEST). The HYPER group performed 4 sets to volitional failure (~8-12RM) while the TEST group performed up to 5 attempts to lift as much weight as possible one time each visit. Results: Data are presented as mean (90% CI). The change in muscle size was greater in the HYPER group for both the upper and lower body at most but not all sites. The change in 1RM strength for both the upper [difference of -1.1 (-4.8, 2.4) kg] and lower body [difference of 1.0 (-0.7, 2.8) kg for dominant leg] was not different between groups (similar for non-dominant). Changes in isometric and isokinetic torque were not different between groups. The HYPER group observed a greater change in muscular endurance [difference of 2 (1, 4) repetitions] only in the dominant leg. There were no differences in the change between groups in upper body endurance. There were between group differences for exercise volume [mean (95% CI)] of the dominant [difference of 11049.3 (9254.6, 12844.0) kg] leg (similar for non-dominant) and chest press with the HYPER group completing significantly more total volume [difference of 13259.9 (9632.0, 16887.8) kg]. Conclusion: These findings suggests that exercise volume nor the change in muscle size from training contributed to greater strength gains compared to just practicing the test.