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The Effects Of Rest Interval Length On Bench Press Performance In Resistance-Trained Men And Women

Ratamess, Nicholas Jr; Faigenbaum, Avery D; Ross, Ryan E; Rashti, Stefanie L; Tranchina, Christopher P; Kang, Jie; Hoffman, Jay R

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue - p 1
doi: 10.1097/01.JSC.0000367200.49548.b1

To examine the effects of rest interval (RI) length on acute bench press kinematic and kinetic performances in resistance-trained men and women. Twenty-one resistance-trained men [age = 21.2 ± 2.2 yrs; height = 178.8 ± 7.1 cm; body mass = 85.0 ± 14.5 kg; one repetition-maximum (1RM) bench press = 104.8 ± 22.1 kg] and 16 women (age = 22.4 ± 6.9 yrs; height = 164.3 ± 6.0 cm; body mass = 62.6 ± 7.3 kg; 1RM bench press = 42.0 ± 12.4 kg) reported to the laboratory on three occasions (following a maximal strength testing session consisting of obtaining a 1RM and 10RM bench press) in randomized order. Each session consisted of performing the bench press exercise for 3 sets of up to 10 repetitions with each subjects' respective 10RM load using 1-, 2-, or 3-min RIs. A transducer was attached to the barbell to measure the average bar velocity and power of each repetition. The mean velocity and power per set, fatigue rate from set 1 to 3, and repetitions completed (per set and total for 3 sets) were analyzed. For 1-min RI, repetitions performed decreased significantly (p < 0.05) for sets 2 and 3 in both groups. The response was significantly different between groups (total repetitions: men = 18.0 ± 3.8; women = 23.3 ± 3.8). For 2- and 3-min RIs, repetitions decreased significantly in sets 2 and 3 in men and in set 3 only in women compared to set 1. The response was significantly different between groups (total repetitions: men = 21.4 ± 3.8; women = 27.1 ± 2.6 for 2-min RI; men = 23.5 ± 5.1; women = 28.7 ± 1.5 for 3-min RI). Men with 3-min RI performed the same number of repetitions as women with 1-min RI. Average velocity and power decreased significantly for sets 2 and 3 in both groups for all RIs with the magnitude greatest during 1-min RI and least during 3-min RI. However, the velocity and power fatigue rates in men were higher than women for 1-min RI only (∼38 versus 29%). For all sets, average power in men was significantly higher than women. When male and female data were pooled, significant negative correlations were shown between 1RM strength and total repetitions completed across all RIs (r = −0.50 to −0.62). RI length significantly affects acute bench press performance with 10RM loads in men and women with the largest effect seen in 1-min RI and smallest effects seen in 3-min RI. However, gender differences were observed where female bench press performances were maintained to a greater extent despite the RI length. Based on correlation data, it may be the gender effects observed resulted from significant strength differences between men and women. The results of the present study indicated that men and women respond differently with RI manipulation during resistance exercise. These data may impact how resistance exercise RI length is prescribed in the future.

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association