Brechue, W. F., Mayhew, J. L., & Koch, A. J. (2006). Strength gains may alter absolute and relative muscle endurance in college football players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1775.

"Some college football teams have shifted emphasis from a one-repetition maximum (1 RM) bench press as a measure of upper body strength to a submaximal load, multi-repetition test. Key to this procedure is the choice of submaximal load which centers around an absolute (AW) or relative weight (RW) and the number of repetitions (REPS) completed with each".

This investigation evaluated the effect of strength changes on absolute and relative muscular endurance after resistance training. NCAA Division II football players (N = 58) were measured before and after 10 weeks of a winter conditioning program for 1-RM, REPS with a RW (60, 70, 80 and 90% 1 RM), and an AW (185 lbs for players with 1 RM<275 (light weight, N = 23) and 225 lbs for players with 1 RM>=275 (heavy weight, N = 35)). Tests were randomly performed on different days.

Twelve players shifted from the light weight group to the heavy weight group following training. The HW group produced significantly fewer repetitions than the light weight group at 70% and 90% before training and at 60, 80, and 90% after training. The correlations between 1 RM and repetitions at each relative weight were minor and significant at both the pre-training (r < -0.22) and post-training measurements (r < -0.32). The correlation between pre-training absolute weight repetitions and 1 RM was slightly higher for heavy weight (r = 0.86) than for light weight (r = 0.81). The correlation between absolute weight repetitions and 1-RM after training decreased slightly for heavy weight (r = 0.81) but significantly for light weight (r = 0.48). Absolute weight repetitions increased significantly between pre-training and post-training for both light weight (9.2 2.8 vs. 12.4 2.2) and heavy weight (12.3 3.6 vs. 14.0 3.6). The gain in 1-RM was significantly correlated with the change in absolute weight repetitions for light weight (r = 0.72) and heavy weight (r = 0.38). The gain in 1-RM was not significantly correlated with relative weight repetitions at 60% (r = 0.04), 70% (r = 0.12), or 80% (r = -0.13) but was significantly correlated at 90% (r = -0.27).

Implication. Strength gains following heavy resistance training may alter the relationships between maximal strength and both absolute and relative muscle endurance at heavy loads. The relationship between maximal strength and moderate-load muscle endurance appears to be unaltered. Strength training effects are specific.

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