McLester, J. R., Bishop, P, Smith, J., Dale, B., & Kozusko, J. (2001). Effect of training volume on recovery from resistance exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 1819.

This study investigated the effects of seven resistance sets to momentary muscular failure of eight different exercises in healthy resistance-trained males (N = 10). The number of repetitions performed with the weight for approximately 10-RM was recorded for each exercise in session #1. Recovery status was indicated by the number of repetitions performed with the same weight and exercise at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours after the session #1.

Performance was significantly lower at 24 hours. At 48 hours, 6 of the 10 Ss still performed below session #1 levels. After 72 hours, seven Ss had recovered enough to perform at or above session #1 values. After 96 hours, eight Ss had fully recovered with five Ss showing improved performances. Two Ss never recovered to return to session #1 levels of performance. Inter-subject variability was large.

Implication. High volumes of resistance training require relatively long recovery periods. Training effects from such training sessions might not peak for several days [in this study it was at least four days for half the Ss]. Pre-testing individual recovery ability before undertaking resistance-training programs would be advisable.

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