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Impact of Testing Strategy on Expression of Upper-Body Work Capacity and One-Repetition Maximum Prediction after Resistance Training in College-Aged Men and Women

Mayhew, Jerry L1,2; Brechue, William F3; Smith, Abbie E4; Kemmler, Wolfgang5; Lauber, Dirk5; Koch, Alexander J1,6

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 10 - p 2796-2807
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31822dcea0
Original Research

Mayhew, JL, Brechue, WF, Smith, AE, Kemmler, W, Lauber, D, and Koch, AJ. Impact of testing strategy on expression of upper-body work capacity and one repetition maximum prediction after resistance training in college-aged men and women. J Strength Cond Res 25(10): 2796–2807, 2011—The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of resistance training on upper-body muscular strength and the expression of work capacity and muscular endurance. In addition, a training-induced change in the relationship between muscular strength and endurance was assessed by testing changes in the accuracy of using endurance repetitions to predict 1 repetition maximum (1RM) bench press before and after training. College-aged men (n = 85) and women (n = 62) completed a 12-week linear periodization resistance training program. Before and after training, the subjects were assessed for 1RM and repetitions to fatigue (RTFs) with a submaximal load. After pretraining 1RM determination, the subjects were randomly assigned to perform RTFs at 65% 1RM (n = 74) or 90% 1RM (n = 73). Pretraining and posttraining RTFs were conducted at the same respective %1RM. Work capacity was determined from repetition weight × RTF. After training, there was a significant increase in 1RM in both men (∼14%) and women (∼23%). Posttraining RTF was not different from pretraining RTF at 65 %1RM (18.2 ± 5.1 and 19.0 ± 6.0, respectively) but was significantly reduced in the 90% 1RM group (6.1 ± 3.6 vs. 4.5 ± 2.7, respectively). Likewise, there was a differential effect of training on the expression of work capacity, which increased in the 65 %1RM group (123 ± 155 kg-reps) but decreased in the 90% 1RM group (−62 ± 208 kg-reps); the effect was independent of gender within each testing group. In conclusion, the changes in muscular strength associated with resistance training produced an increase in work capacity when tested with a 65 %1RM load without a change in endurance. In contrast, both work capacity and endurance decreased when tested with 90% 1RM. Thus, the impact of strength training on work capacity and muscle endurance is specific to the load at which endurance testing is performed.

1Human Performance Laboratory, Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri; 2Department of Physiology, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, Kirksville, Missouri; 3Department of Physical Education, Center for Physical Development Excellence, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York; 4Department of Exercise and Sports Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; 5Institute of Medical Physics, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany; and 6Health, Exercise and Sports Science Department, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, North Carolina

Address correspondence to Jerry L. Mayhew,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association