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Comparison of Methods to Quantify Volume During Resistance Exercise

McBride, Jeffrey M; McCaulley, Grant O; Cormie, Prue; Nuzzo, James L; Cavill, Michael J; Triplett, N Travis

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818efdfe
Original Research

McBride, JM, McCaulley, GO, Cormie, P, Nuzzo, JL, Cavill, MJ, and Triplett, NT. Comparison of methods to quantify volume during resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 106-110, 2009-The purpose of this investigation was to compare 4 different methods of calculating volume when comparing resistance exercise protocols of varying intensities. Ten Appalachian State University students experienced in resistance exercise completed 3 different resistance exercise protocols on different days using a randomized, crossover design, with 1 week of rest between each protocol. The protocols included 1) hypertrophy: 4 sets of 10 repetitions in the squat at 75% of a 1-repetition maximum (1RM) (90-second rest periods); 2) strength: 11 sets of 3 repetitions at 90% 1RM (5-minute rest periods); and 3) power: 8 sets of 6 repetitions of jump squats at 0% 1RM (3-minute rest periods). The volume of resistance exercise completed during each protocol was determined with 4 different methods: 1) volume load (VL) (repetitions [no.] × external load [kg]); 2) maximum dynamic strength volume load (MDSVL) (repetitions [no.] × [body mass − shank mass (kg) + external load (kg)]); 3) time under tension (TUT) (eccentric time +milliseconds] + concentric time +milliseconds]); and 4) total work (TW) (force [N] × displacement [m]). The volumes differed significantly (p < 0.05) between hypertrophy and strength in comparison with the power protocol when VL and MDSVL were used to determine the volume of resistance exercise completed. Furthermore, significant differences in TUT existed between all 3 resistance exercise protocols. The TW calculated was not significantly different between the 3 protocols. These data imply that each method examined results in substantially different values when comparing various resistance exercise protocols involving different levels of intensity.

Author Information

Neuromuscular Laboratory, Department of Health, Leisure & Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

Address correspondence to Jeffrey M. McBride,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association