The purpose of this research was to compare the effects of continuous repetition and intra-set rest training on maximal strength and power output of the upper body.
The 6 repetition maximum (6RM) and bench press throw power output against masses of 20, 30 and 40 kg of 26 elite junior male basketball and soccer players were tested on 2 separate occasions for reliability purposes. Subjects were then randomly assigned to either a continuous repetition (CR - 4 sets x 6 repetitions) or intra-set rest (ISR - 8 sets x 3 repetitions) training regime over 6-weeks. Volume (sets x repetitions x %6RM) between groups was equated and both groups completed all sets in the same time period (13 minutes and 20 seconds). The total concentric work time was determined to identify differences in training regimes. Independent sample t-tests on preintervention and postintervention percentage change scores were analysed for significant differences (p<0.05).
The observed coefficients of variation (1.7% to 4.8%) and intraclass correlation coefficients (r=0.87 to 0.98) indicated stability of these measures across testing occasions. The CR group significantly increased 6RM strength (9.7%) compared with the ISR group (4.9%). The total concentric work time was significantly longer in CR training than ISR (36.03+/- 4.03 s and 31.74+/-4.71 s; p=0.13). Power output increases across the 20, 30 and 40 kg loads ranged from 5.8% to 10.9% for both training groups but the between-group percentage change scores were not significantly different.
Bench press training involving 4 sets of 6 continuous repetitions elicited a greater improvement in bench press strength than 8 sets of 3 repetitions at the same percentage load of their 6RM. Both ISR and CR training were equally effective in increasing power output.
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"Differences between protocols, specifically in those factors that are associated with the work-to-rest ratio, may account for these discrepancies. Another possible explanation for the discrepant findings may be the high inter-participant variability responses (Folland et al., 2002; Lawton et al., 2004) CONTACT Eliseo Iglesias-Soler firstname.lastname@example.org that may have influenced the comparisons across groups. One methodological strategy for reducing inter-participant variability effect is the unilateral model approach whereby each individual serves as their own comparison since opposite segments use different training conditions (Burd et al., 2010). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study compared the functional and neural effects of two strength training programmes differing in set configuration. Thirteen participants performed 10 sessions, over a period of 5 weeks, of unilateral leg extensions with different set configurations but with identical work-to-rest ratios for each limb: a traditional configuration (4 sets of 8 repetitions, 10RM load, 3-min pause between sets) and an inter-repetition rest configuration (32 repetitions, 10RM load, 17.4 s of rest between each repetition). Mean propulsive velocity of the traditional sessions was lower than for inter-repetition rest sessions (0.48 ± 0.06 vs. 0.54 ± 0.06 m · s−1; P < 0.001), while perceived exertion was higher (8.3 ± 0.9 and 6.56 ± 1.6 for traditional training and IRT; P = 0.002). One repetition maximum (RM), work with 10RM load, maximum mean propulsive power, maximum voluntary contraction and time to failure with 50% of maximum isometric force improved similarly in both legs (time effect, P < 0.001; effect size range, 0.451–1.190). Time and set configuration did not show significant main effects or interactions for cortical adaptations (motor-evoked potentials, short-interval intracortical inhibition, intracortical facilitation). There were no significant correlations between changes in cortical and peripheral neural adaptations and strength improvement. In conclusion, inter-repetition rest configuration was as effective as traditional training in improving muscle performance.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Sports Sciences
"Thus, while the beneficial effects of CLU in the acute setting using both Olympic and traditional exercises (squat and bench press) are unequivocal, as evidenced by studies reporting greater force (Hardee et al. 2012b), velocity (Hardee et al. 2012b; Izquierdo et al. 2005), and power (Hardee et al. 2012b; Lawton et al. 2006), limited investigations have shown beneficial effects on long-term gains following CLU training when compared with TRD. Favorable effects of CLU on muscular power have been reported when participants incorporated CLU in training at or near the optimal load (the load at which the greatest power output is observed) (Kawamori and Haff 2004) for mechanical power output in the respective exercise (Izquierdo et al. 2006; Oliver et al. 2013; Zarezadeh-Mehrizi et al. 2013), while TRD elicited similar power gains (Lawton et al. 2004) when training above the optimal load. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In traditional sets (TRD) repetitions are performed continuously, whereas cluster sets (CLU) allow a brief rest between groups of repetitions. We investigated the acute mechanical, metabolic, and hormonal response to CLU in men.
Twelve resistance-trained (RT) and 11 untrained (UT) men performed TRD (4 × 10 repetitions with 2 min rest) and CLU [4 × (2 × 5) with 1.5 min rest between sets 30 s rest between clusters] at 70 % 1RM back squat in random order. Seven days separated trials. Average power and time under tension (TUT) were calculated. Blood was sampled pre, sets 1, 2, and 3; immediate post-exercise, 5, 15, 30, 60 min post-exercise for blood lactate, total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT), growth hormone (GH), and cortisol.
CLU produced greater average power at an increasing number of repetitions over each set with greater total volume load. TUT was shorter for RT and lower for CLU in repetitions 1, 6, 7, 8. Blood lactate was higher Set 2 through 30 min in TRD. RT had higher TT; however, the time course was similar between RT and UT. TT and FT increased immediate post-exercise and remained elevated 30 min in both conditions. GH was significantly greater during TRD with a similar pattern observed in both conditions. Cortisol was significantly lower at 30 min in CLU.
CLU allowed greater total volume load, shorter TUT, greater average power, similar anabolic hormonal response, and less metabolic stress. The acute response was similar despite training status.
"An alternative set configuration consists of manipulating work and rest periods by breaking sets into small clusters of repetitions. This type of training has been termed cluster training (CT), inter-repetition rest training or intraset rest loading (Haff et al., 2003, 2008; Lawton et al., 2004; Hansen et al., 2011a,b) and has been proposed in order to improve mechanical performance during RE (Haff, 1997; Haff et al., 2003, 2008; Denton & Cronin, 2006; Hardee et al., 2012; Iglesias-Soler et al., 2012), thus increasing mechanical stimuli (Crewther et al., 2005; Denton & Cronin, 2006). Higher mechanical performance (e.g. higher velocity or power) during CT could be associated with a shorter time under tension and hence to a decrease in the time of mechanical compression of the skeletal muscle vasculature. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of two different high-intensity resistance exercise (RE) set configurations on the following: systolic blood pressure (SBP), rate pressure product (RPP), heart rate (HR) variability (HRV), and HR complexity (HRC). Ten well-trained males performed three parallel squat sets until failure (traditional training; TT) with the four repetitions maximum load (4RM), and a rest of 3 min between sets. Thereafter, participants performed a cluster training session (CT) of equated load but with resting time distributed between each repetition. Dependent variables were recorded before, during, and after RE. Mean SBP (25·7 versus 10·9% percentage increase; P = 0·016) and RPP (112·5 versus 69·9%; P = 0·01) were significantly higher in TT. The decrease in HRV after exercise and the drop of HRC during exercise were similar in CT and TT. Change of standard deviation of normal RR intervals after TT correlated with change in SBP (r = 0·803; P = 0·009) while the change of Sample Entropy during exercise correlated with the increment of RPP during CT (ρ = −0·667; P = 0·05). This study suggests that set configuration influences acute cardiovascular responses during RE. When intensity, volume and work-to-rest ratio are equated, CT is less demanding in terms of SBP and RPP. A greater hemodynamic response during exercise would be associated with a faster parasympathetic recovery.