Martorelli, A., Gentil, P., Soares, S., Fischer, B., Castanheira, R., Martorelli, S., Magalhaes, I. E., Vieira, A., Cadore, E. L., & Bottaro, M. (2014). Effect of prolonged strength training, detraining, and re-strength-training on muscle strength. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46(5), Supplement abstract number 912.

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This study compared muscle performance after a continuous non-interrupted strength training program vs. a non-continuous strength training program, using the same training volume (20 training sessions), in untrained young women (N = 47). Ss were randomly assigned to one of two groups: i) a continuous training group that performed a non-interrupted strength training program lasting 10 weeks, or ii) a discontinuous (no-training) group who trained for five weeks, detrained (i.e., did not train) for two weeks, and trained for another five weeks. Ss trained two days per week. Training intensity varied between 8 and 12 repetitions maximum. Unilateral knee extension and elbow-flexion peak torque were tested for both groups at 60°/second using an isokinetic dynamometer.

After training, knee extensor strength increased significantly by 10.9% for the continuous-training group and 11.5% for the discontinuous training group (not a significant difference). The elbow flexors’ peak-torque and strength gains increased significantly and similarly for both groups.

Implication. A two-week interrupted activity period does not affect strength gains after a total of 10 weeks of training in untrained women. “Evidence suggests that even recreational weightlifters find it difficult to perform training programs continuously. Therefore, reducing the time commitment without reducing exercise volume may decrease physical and psychological strain and may lead to greater adherence in resistance training programs.

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