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Influence of High- and Low-Frequency Resistance Training on Lean Body Mass and Muscle Strength Gains in Untrained Men

Franco, Cristiane M.C.1; Carneiro, Marcelo A.S.1; de Sousa, Jairo F.R.1; Gomes, Gederson K.1; Orsatti, Fábio L.1,2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 18, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003145
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Franco, CMC, Carneiro, MAS, de Sousa, JFR, Gomes, GK, and Orsatti, FL. Influence of high- and low-frequency resistance training on lean body mass and muscle strength gains in untrained men. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2019—The aim of this study was to investigate whether high-frequency resistance training (HFRT) performs better in lean body mass (LBM) and muscle strength gains when compared with low-frequency resistance training (LFRT). Eighteen untrained males (height: 1.76 ± 0.05 m, body mass: 78.3 ± 13.5 kg, and age: 22.1 ± 2.2 years) were randomly allocated into HFRT (n = 9) and LFRT (n = 9). Muscle strength {1 repetition maximum (RM) (bench press [BP] and unilateral leg extension [LE])} and LBM (DXA) were assessed at before and after 8 weeks of training. Both groups performed 7 whole-body resistance exercises, standardized to 10 sets per week, 8–12 maximal repetitions, and 90–120 seconds of rest in a 5-day resistance training routine. The LFRT performed a split-body routine, training each specific muscle group once a week. The HFRT performed a total-body routine, training all muscle groups every session and progressed from a training frequency of once per week to a training frequency of 5 times per week. Lean body mass increased without differences between groups (HFRT = 1.0 kg vs. LFRT = 1.5 kg; p = 0.377). Similarly, 1RM increased without differences between groups (right LE, HFRT = 21.2 kg vs. LFRT = 19.7 kg, p = 0.782; BP, HFRT = 7.1 kg vs. LFRT = 4.5 kg, p = 0.293). These findings suggest that in young untrained men, progressing from a training frequency of once per week to a training frequency of 5 times per week with equated volume produces similar gains in LBM and muscle strength as a constant training frequency of once per week, over an 8-week training period.

1Exercise Biology Research Group (BioEx), Federal University of Triangulo Mineiro (UFTM), Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil; and

2Department of Sport Sciences, Health Science Institute, Federal University of Triangulo Mineiro (UFTM), Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Address correspondence to Dr. Fábio L. Orsatti, fabiorsatti@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.