Comparing the Relative Effects of Four Training Regimens on Strength Development. (Exercise Physiology and Fitness)

Article excerpt

Reports regarding the effects of multiple versus single-set strength training regimens are numerous and the general consensus is that the two regimens produce similar gains in strength. This project explored the issue by manipulating the sequence of exercises within the multiple set regimens. Since early strength gains are associated more with neural adaptations than muscle hypertrophy, multiple set regimens may differentially optimize training stimuli for the nervous system and influence strength gains. Forty-two untrained participants (M age = 20.1 [+ or -] 1.9 years) were randomly assigned to one of four regimens of strength exercises. Three regimens were variations of a multiple set protocol (alternating, blocked, and semiblocked) while the fourth was a single-set protocol. All multiple set regimens involved six sets of 10 repetitions. The single set participants performed to exhaustion. The alternating regimen required performing one set of curls, lateral raises, and triceps extensions with the sequence repeated six times. In the blocked regimen the participants perform all sets of each exercise before performing the next. The semiblocked regimen involved three consecutive sets of each exercise with the sequence repeated twice. Each exercise repetition was completed in 2 s, with 45-s rest between sets. …