Effect of resistance training volume on strength and muscle thickness

STARKEY, DAVID B.; POLLOCK, MICHAEL L.; ISHIDA, YOSHI; WELSCH, MICHAEL A.; BRECHUE, WILLIAM F.; GRAVES, JAMES E.; FEIGENBAUM, MATTHEW S.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
Applied Sciences: Physical Fitness and Performance
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of different volumes of high-intensity resistance training on isometric torque and muscle thickness. Training was conducted three times per week using one set (low volume, EX-1, N = 18) or three sets (high volume, EX-3, N= 20) of dynamic variable resistance exercise. Ten subjects acted as nontraining controls (CONT). Bilateral knee extension (KEXT) and flexion(KFLEX) exercise was performed to fatigue within 8-12 repetitions for 14 wk. Maximal isometric KEXT and KFLEX torque was tested at 6°, 24°, 42°, 60°, 78°, 96°, and 108° of KFLEX using a MedX (Ocala, FL) KEXT/KFLEX ergometer. The anterior (ANT), lateral (LAT), and posterior(POST) right thigh, the medialis muscle (MED), and the lateralis muscle(LATER) were assessed for thickness by B-mode ultrasound (ULTRA). Both training groups improved torque output at most angles, but there was no difference between EX-1 and EX-3 (P ≥ 0.05). ULTRA detected increases in muscle thickness for EX-1 at 60% LAT and 40% and 60% POST. EX-3 increased muscle thickness at the MED, and 40% and 60% POST. In conclusion, one set of high-intensity resistance training was as effective as three sets for increasing KEXT and KFLEX isometric torque and muscle thickness in previously untrained adults.

Author Information

Center for Exercise Science, Departments of Medicine and Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610

Submitted for publication October 1995.

Accepted for publication March 1996.

Current addresses: William F. Brechue, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, HPER Bldg., RM 179, Bloomington, IN 47405; James E. Graves, Ph.D., Department of Health and Physical Education, Syracuse University, 201, 820 Comstock Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244; Yoshie Ishida, Ph.D., Womens College of Fine Arts, 1-49-8 Wada Suginami, Tokyo, Japan, 166.

Address for correspondence: Michael Pollock, Ph.D., Department of Medicine, Box 100277, JHMHC, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610. E-mail:hhp/mpollock.ufl.edu.

©1996The American College of Sports Medicine