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Acute Response of High-Intensity and Traditional Resistance Exercise on Anaerobic Power

Austad, Mark A.1; Gay, Chip R.1,2; Murray, Steven R.1,3; Pettitt, Robert W.1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 9 - p 2444–2448
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31827f5269
Original Research

Abstract: Austad, MA, Gay, CR, Murray, SR, and Pettitt, RW. Acute response of high-intensity and traditional resistance exercise on anaerobic power. J Strength Cond Res 27(9): 2444–2448, 2013—Quantifying the maximal work capacity (W') above the aerobic critical power (CP) has emerged as a method for estimating anaerobic work capacity. Slower cadence, lower-load resistance training (RT), colloquially referred to as high-intensity training (HIT), is purported to be a better metabolic stressor than faster cadence higher-load RT, but to date, this belief has not been supported by research. We compared the acute effects of HIT and traditional RT bouts on average power within a 150-second time period (P150 s), CP, and W', as measured from a 3-minute all-out exercise test using cycling ergometry (3 MT). Eight recreationally active male subjects (mean ± SD: age 22 ± 2 years, body mass 85 ± 14 kg, and height 18 ± 9 cm) completed a baseline 3 MT 10 repetition maximum testing on leg press and leg extension machines, and post-bout 3 MTs after an HIT (4:2 second cadence) or a traditional RT bout (1:1 second cadence). Measurements of CP from the 3 MTs were similar between the baseline, post-HIT (α = 0.96), and post-traditional RT bouts (α = 0.98). Neither HIT (269.2 ± 51.3 W) nor traditional RT (275.1 ± 51.3 W) evoked depreciations (p > 0.05) in P150 s from the baseline (275.1 ± 45.4 W). Moreover, estimates of W' at the baseline (8.3 ± 3.2 kJ) were unaffected (p > 0.05) either by the HIT (7.6 ± 2.3 kJ) or by the traditional RT (8.3 ± 1.3 kJ) bouts. These data indicate that the 4:2 cadence is insufficient to exhaust a person's capacity for high-intensity work. Longer RT durations, either by slower cadences or by multiple sets, are necessary to evoke substantive declines on W' and should be investigated.

1Viola Holbrook Human Performance Laboratory, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota

2Department of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic Health System at Mankato, Mankato, Minnesota

3Department of Kinesiology, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado

Address correspondence to Robert W. Pettitt,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.