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The Effect of Autoregulatory Progressive Resistance Exercise vs. Linear Periodization on Strength Improvement in College Athletes

Mann, J Bryan1; Thyfault, John P2; Ivey, Pat A1; Sayers, Stephen P3

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 7 - pp 1718-1723
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181def4a6
Original Research
Press Release

Mann, JB, Thyfault, JP, Ivey, PA, and Sayers, SP. The effect of autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise vs. linear periodization on strength improvement in college athletes. J Strength Cond Res 24(7): 1718-1723, 2010-Autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise (APRE) is a method by which athletes increase strength by progressing at their own pace based on daily and weekly variations in performance, unlike traditional linear periodization (LP), where there is a set increase in intensity from week to week. This study examined whether 6 weeks of APRE was more effective at improving strength compared with traditional LP in division I College football players. We compared 23 division 1 collegiate football players (2.65 ± 0.8 training years) who were trained using either APRE (n = 12) or LP (n = 11) during 6 weeks of preseason training in 2 separate years. After 6 weeks of training, improvements in total bench press 1 repetition maximum (1RM), squat 1RM, and repeated 225-lb bench press repetitions were compared between the APRE and LP protocol groups. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to determine differences between groups. Statistical significance was accepted at p ≤ 0.05. Autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise demonstrated greater improvement in 1RM bench press strength (APRE: 93.4 ± 103 N vs. LP: −0.40 ± 49.6 N; ANCOVA: F = 7.1, p = 0.02), estimated 1RM squat strength (APRE: 192.7 ± 199 N vs. LP: 37.2 ± 155 N; ANOVA: F = 4.1, p = 0.05) and the number of repetitions performed at a weight of 225 lb (APRE: 3.17 ± 2.86 vs. LP: −0.09 ± 2.40 repetitions; ANCOVA: F = 6.8, p = 0.02) compared with the LP group over the 6-week training period. Our findings indicate that the APRE was more effective than the LP means of programming in increasing the bench press and squat over a period of 6 weeks.

1Department of Athletic Performance, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri; 2Research Service, Harry S. Truman VA Hospital, Departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Internal Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri; and 3Neuromuscular Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Address correspondence to Stephen P. Sayers,

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association