STRENGTH | MUSCLE – HOW HEAVY?


3 ARTICLES + 1 COMMENTARY + 7 GRAPHICS – CLICK ON GRAPHIC TO ENLARGE


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Full research article for the 2 graphs → CLICK HERE
HEAVY GROUP:
– (n = 10); Age (yrs) 22.3 (3.9); Height (m) 1.74 (.08); Weight (kgs) 84.2 (16.6)
– RT Experience (yrs) 4.3 (4.8);  2-4 Reps per Set
MODERATE GROUP:
– (n = 9); Age (yrs) 24.1 (4.5); Height (m) 1.77 (.04); Weight (kgs) 84.4 (14.5)
– RT Experience 
5.2 (3.4); 8-12 Reps per Set


LIGHT LOADS PROMOTE HYPERTROPHY AND STRENGTH – STU PHILLIPS – FEB 20, 2017


– So long as wts are lifted to fatigue MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS (MPS) is as robustly (or perhaps even more so) stimulated as lifting heavy (heavier) weights (2)
– Given the rate of participation in RT is <10% in North America (that’s self-report so it’s likely closer to 5%) it seems odd to me that people are often opposed to lifting lighter weights
– Unless one is absolutely bent on the development of maximal strength or hypertrophy the approach works
– Even then I’d say that even very occasional heavy sessions or weeks and you’d be good
– If RT is a lifelong pursuit then after regular RT for 30 years let’s see folks get under the bar and lift heavy on a regular basis (sorry millenials it just ain’t happening)
– Of course there are always exceptions, from whom I am sure I’ll hear!
REFERENCE LIST
1. Burd NA, Phillips SM. Bigger weights may not beget bigger muscles; Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 37: 551-554, 2012
2. Burd NA, Phillips SM. Low-Load High Volume Resistance Exercise Stimulates MPS More Than High-Load Low Volume Resistance Exercise in Young Men. 2010
3. Mitchell CJ, Phillips SM. Resistance exercise load does not determine training-mediated hypertrophic gains in young men. J Appl Physiol 113: 71-77, 2012.
4. Schoenfeld BJ, Sonmez GT. Effects of Low- vs. High-Load Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy in Well-Trained Men. J Strength Cond Res, 2015 (see below)
5. Schoenfeld BJ, Krieger JW. Muscular adaptations in low- versus high-load resistance training; Eur J Sport Sci 1-10, 2014 (see below)


NEITHER LOAD NOR SYSTEMIC HORMONES DETERMINE RESISTANCE TRAINING-MEDIATED HYPERTROPHY OR STRENGTH GAINS IN RESISTANCE TRAINED YOUNG MEN – 2016


Morton RW1, Phillips SM et al
DESIGN
– 49 resistance-trained men (23 ± 1 yr) performed 12 wks of whole-body RT
(1) a higher-repetition (HR) group who lifted loads of ∼30-50% of maximal strength (1RM) for 20-25 repetitions/set (n = 24)
(2) a lower-repetition (LR) group (∼75-90% 1RM, 8-12 repetitions/set, n = 25)
– with all sets being performed to volitional failure

RESULTS
– 1RM strength increased for all exercises in both groups
– Only the change in bench press was significantly different between groups (HR, 9 ± 1, vs. LR, 14 ± 1 kg)

– LBM and type I and type II muscle fiber x-sectional area increased following training with no significant differences b/n groups
– Acute post-exercise systemic hormonal rises are not related to or in any way indicative of RT-mediated gains in muscle mass or strength


EFFECTS OF LOW VS. HIGH LOAD RESISTANCE TRAINING ON MUSCLE STRENGTH & HYPERTROPHY IN WELL-TRAINED MEN – 2015


Burd NAWest DWStaples AWAtherton PJBaker JMMoore DRHolwerda AMParise GRennie MJBaker SKPhillips SM
METHOD
– 18 well-trained young men experienced in RT:
(1) low-load RT routine (LL); 25-35 reps were performed per set per exercise (n = 9)
(2) high-load RT routine (HL) where 8-12 reps were performed per set per exercise (n = 9)
– both groups performed 3 sets of 7 different exercises representing all major muscles
– Training was performed 3 x/wk on nonconsecutive days, for a total of 8 weeks
RESULTS
 HL vs. LL increases in thickness of elbow flexors (5.3 vs. 8.6%), elbow extensors (6.0 vs. 5.2%), quadriceps femoris (9.3 vs. 9.5%)
– Improvements in back squat strength were significantly greater for HL compared with LL (19.6 vs. 8.8%)
– there was a trend for greater increases in 1 repetition maximum (1RM) bench press (6.5 vs. 2.0%)

– Upper Body muscle endurance (bench press at 50% 1RM to failure) improved to a greater extent in LL compared with HL (16.6 vs. -1.2%)


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