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Effects of Whole-Body Low-Intensity Resistance Training With Slow Movement and Tonic Force Generation on Muscular Size and Strength in Young Men

Tanimoto, Michiya1; Sanada, Kiyoshi2; Yamamoto, Kenta2; Kawano, Hiroshi3; Gando, Yuko3; Tabata, Izumi1; Ishii, Naokata4; Miyachi, Motohiko1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 6 - pp 1926-1938
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318185f2b0
Original Research

Tanimoto, M, Sanada, K, Yamamoto, K, Kawano, H, Gando, Y, Tabata, I, Ishii, N, and Miyachi, M. Effects of whole-body low-intensity resistance training with slow movement and tonic force generation on muscular size and strength in young men. J Strength Cond Res 22(6): 1926-1938, 2008-Our previous study showed that relatively low-intensity (~50% one-repetition maximum [1RM]) resistance training (knee extension) with slow movement and tonic force generation (LST) caused as significant an increase in muscular size and strength as high-intensity (~80% 1RM) resistance training with normal speed (HN). However, that study examined only local effects of one type of exercise (knee extension) on knee extensor muscles. The present study was performed to examine whether a whole-body LST resistance training regimen is as effective on muscular hypertrophy and strength gain as HN resistance training. Thirty-six healthy young men without experience of regular resistance training were assigned into three groups (each n = 12) and performed whole-body resistance training regimens comprising five types of exercise (vertical squat, chest press, latissimus dorsi pull-down, abdominal bend, and back extension: three sets each) with LST (~55-60% 1RM, 3 seconds for eccentric and concentric actions, and no relaxing phase); HN (~80-90% 1RM, 1 second for concentric and eccentric actions, 1 second for relaxing); and a sedentary control group (CON). The mean repetition maximum was eight-repetition maximum in LST and HN. The training session was performed twice a week for 13 weeks. The LST training caused significant (p < 0.05) increases in whole-body muscle thickness (6.8 ± 3.4% in a sum of six sites) and 1RM strength (33.0 ± 8.8% in a sum of five exercises) comparable with those induced by HN training (9.1 ± 4.2%, 41.2 ± 7.6% in each measurement item). There were no such changes in the CON group. The results suggest that a whole-body LST resistance training regimen is as effective for muscular hypertrophy and strength gain as HN resistance training.

1Division of Health Promotion and Exercise, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan; 2Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical Care, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan; 3Faculty of Sports Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan; and 4Department of Life Sciences Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Address correspondence to Michiya Tanimoto, tanimoto@nih.go.jp.

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association