STRENGTH TRAINING IS QUITE SPECIFIC
Anderson, T., & Kearney, J. T. (1982). Effects of three resistance training programs on muscular strength and absolute and relative endurance. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 53, 1-7.
Three sets of Ss: (a) a high-resistance-low-repetition (HL) group (N = 15) performed three sets of 6-8 RM per session; (b) a medium-resistance-medium-repetition (MM) group (N = 16) performed two sets of 30-40 RM per session; and (c) a low-resistance-high-repetition (LH) group (N = 12) performed one set of 100-150 RM, trained three times per week for nine weeks. Strength (1 RM), absolute, and relative endurance were assessed before and after the training period.
The 20% improvement in 1 RM strength in the HL group was significantly greater than the 8% (MM) and 5% (LH) changes in the other two groups. In terms of absolute endurance, the LH (41%) and MM (39%) groups improved significantly more than the HL (28%) group. When relative endurance was considered it was found that the HL group actually decreased (7%) while the MM group improved by 22% and the LH group improved by 28%. Those differences were significant.
These results show that resistance training in untrained males produces changes in strength and endurance irrespective of the protocol. However, those forms of training which favored strength development (high resistance) produced strength improvement only while those which favored endurance development (high repetitions) produced endurance and to a much lesser extent strength. The major anomaly was that the HL group actually decreased in relative endurance.
Since Ss were initially "untrained" any form of overload stimulation would likely provoke a training response. One should be cautious about generalizing these changes to elite or highly-trained athletes.
Implication. The protocol used in strength or resistance training will largely determine the type of training response that is stimulated. Low repetitions and high resistances favor strength, whereas moderate to high repetitions using a moderate weight that can be accommodated produce endurance and minor strength changes. It is anticipated that the specificity of these effects will be more evident the higher the levels and training states of athletes who engage in this type of exercise.
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