Resistance Training: Identifying Best Practices?
Technical rept. Apr-Sep 2009
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Resistance training increases muscle strength. Muscle strength gains are influenced by program design. This review attempted to identify design choices that would be best practices. A best practice is a design option that produces significantly better results than any other option. To ensure sensitive assessments of program design effects, statistical procedures adjusted for differences in program length, and allowed for the repeated measures structure of the study designs. Untrained individuals benefitted much more from training than trained individuals. Gender had little effect. Age effects differed for men and women. Given the impact of participant characteristics on the training response, the effects of different program design facets were examined separately for programs with untrained and trained participants. Periodization, number of sessions per week, number of sets per session, and intensity number of repetitions per set were significant moderators for untrained participants sets per session and intensity were significant moderators for trained participants. However, comparisons generally showed that no single design option was significantly better than all others. The available evidence may rule out some design choices e.g., a single set per session, but it is too limited to identify best practices.
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