LOW-VOLUME, HIGH-INTENSITY RESISTANCE TRAINING PRESERVES STRENGTH GAINS IN UNLOADING PHASES
Schulze, K. E., Gallagher, P. M., & Trappe, S. W. (1999). A minimalistic model of resistance training: Effects on skeletal muscle function during unloading. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 1657.
This study evaluated a low-volume, high-intensity strength training program's effect on the preservation of knee extensor and plantar flexor strength and size in response to unloading. Males underwent 21 days of unilateral lower limb suspension and were assigned to a no exercise (N = 4) or countermeasures (N = 4) groups. Countermeasure training occurred every third day over the 21-day period. It consisted of two maximal isometric contractions, 1 set of 10 concentric and eccentric isotonic repetitions, and one set to exhaustion at 80% of original 1-RM.
All measures of strength declined in the control group. The countermeasure training group showed not decline in any factors. Muscle strength and size was preserved during the unloading period using a low-volume, high-intensity resistance program every third day.
Implication. Strength can be maintained in periods of decreased activity by low volume, high-intensity resistance training once every three days.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.