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High Resistance-Training Frequency Enhances Muscle Thickness in Resistance-Trained Men

Zaroni, Rafael S.1; Brigatto, Felipe A.1; Schoenfeld, Brad J.2; Braz, Tiago V.1,3; Benvenutti, Júlio C.1; Germano, Moisés D.1; Marchetti, Paulo H.4; Aoki, Marcelo S.5; Lopes, Charles R.1,6

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue - p S140–S151
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002643
Original Research

Zaroni, RS, Brigatto, FA, Schoenfeld, BJ, Braz, TV, Benvenutti, JC, Germano, MD, Marchetti, PH, Aoki, MS, and Lopes, CR. High resistance-training frequency enhances muscle thickness in resistance-trained men. J Strength Cond Res 33(7S): S140–S151, 2019—The purpose of this study was to compare the effect a split training routine with muscle groups trained once per week (SPLIT) vs. whole-body split training routine with muscle groups trained 5 days per week (TOTAL) on neuromuscular adaptations in well-trained men. Eighteen healthy men (height = 177.8 ± 6.6 cm; total body mass = 84.4 ± 8.1 kg; age = 26.4 ± 4.6 years) were recruited to participate in this study. The experimental groups were matched according to baseline strength and then randomly assigned to 1 of the 2 experimental groups: SPLIT (n = 9) or TOTAL (n = 9). Prestudy and poststudy testing included 1RM for bench press, parallel back-squat and machine close-grip seated row, as well as an ultrasound analysis of the muscle thickness (MT) of the elbow flexors, triceps brachii, and vastus lateralis. After 8 weeks of training, no significant difference between groups was noted for all 1RM tests (p > 0.05). TOTAL induced a significantly greater increase in MT of the forearm flexors and vastus lateralis (p < 0.05). In conclusion, muscle strength increment is similar regardless of the experimental conditions studied; however, TOTAL may confer a potentially superior hypertrophic effect.

1Human Performance Research Laboratory, Methodist University of Piracicaba, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil;

2Department of Health Sciences, CUNY Lehman College, Bronx, New York;

3Faculty of Americana, Americana, São Paulo, Brazil;

4Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Northridge, California;

5School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; and

6Adventist Faculty of Hortolândia, Hortolândia, São Paulo, Brazil

Address correspondence to Felipe A. Brigatto,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.