Burrell, K. W., Sawyer, R. D., Dickin, D. C., & Williams, J. S. (2006). Cardiorespiratory adaptations to a heart rate based high intensity parallel squat resistance training program. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1792.

"Typical resistance training does not result in improvements in peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) in young adults". The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 12-week parallel squat resistance training program using aerobic training principles and heart rate training ranges on VO2peak. The resistance training program complied with ACSM minimal guidelines for increasing cardiorespiratory fitness. Young adult males (N = 9) performed parallel squats three times per week on non-consecutive days. Each training session consisted of 10 sets of parallel squats with rest periods being determined by heart rate. The sets were performed as follows: Set One 20 repetitions at 20% 1 RM; Set Two 20 repetitions at 25% 1 RM; Set Three 20 repetitions at 25% 1 RM; Set Four 20 repetitions at 30% 1 RM; Set Five 20 repetitions at 35% 1 RM; Set Six 18 repetitions at 50% 1 RM; Set Seven 15 repetitions at 65% 1 RM; Set eight 12 repetitions at 70% 1 RM; Set Nine 10 repetitions at 75% 1 RM; and Set Ten 8 repetitions at 80% 1 RM. Heart rate was maintained at 55-75% of maximum during all training sessions, which lasted 20-30 minutes. Pre- and post training testing included a 1 RM parallel squat, an incremental cycle ergometer test to exhaustion (VO2peak), a submaximal cycle ergometer test (VO2submax) at 125 watts, body composition, and thigh cross-sectional area.

There was a significant 36% increase in 1 RM, a significant 7.5% increase in thigh cross-sectional area, and a 6.52% significant decrease in the submaximal cycle ergometer test (VO2submax). No significant changes were observed in VO2peak, ventilatory threshold, submaximal heart rate, body weight, or body composition.

Implication. Twelve weeks of resistance training, even when designed to comply with ACSM guidelines for increasing cardiorespiratory fitness, increases strength and enhances submaximal exercise performance, but does not result in a significant increase in VO2peak in young adult males.

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