The present investigation compared the effects of three selected mesocycle-length weight training programs using partially equated volumes on upper and lower body strength. Ninety-two previously weight-trained males were tested at five intervals (T1 through T5) on freeweight bench press and parallel back squat strength before, during, and after 16 weeks of training. Groups 1 and 2 trained with programs consisting of 5x10-RM at 78.9% of 1-RM and 6x8-RM at 83.3% of 1-RM, respectively, while keeping the amount of sets, repetitions, and training resistance (relative intensity) constant. Group 3 trained with a periodization program involving 4 weeks of 5x10-RM at 78.9% of 1-RM, 4 weeks of 6x8-RM with 83.3% of 1-RM, 4 weeks of 3x6-RM with 87.6% of 1-RM, and 4 weeks of 3x4-RM with 92.4% of 1-RM. Group 4 served as a non-weight-training control group. A 4x5 (Group x Test) MANOVA with repeated measures on test revealed that pretest normalized bench press and squat strength values were statistically equal when the study began. For the bench press at T2, results revealed that Groups 1, 2, and 3 were significantly different from Group 4 but not from each other. At T3, T4, and T5, Group 3 demonstrated significantly different strength levels in the bench press from Groups 1, 2, and 4. Groups 1 and 2 were not significantly different from Group 4. For the squat exercise at T2, T3, and T4, Groups 2 and 3 were significantly different from Groups 1 and 2 but not from each other. At T5, Group 3 was significantly different from Groups 1, 2, and 4. Group 2 was significantly different from Groups 1 and 4, and Group 1 was only significantly different from Group 4. It was concluded that a mesocycle-length weight training program. incorporating periodization is superior in eliciting upper and lower body strength gains when compared to programs with partially equated volumes.
(C) 1993 National Strength and Conditioning Association