Similarity in Adaptations to High-Resistance Circuit vs. Traditional Strength Training in Resistance-Trained Men

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Alcaraz, PE, Perez-Gomez, J, Chavarrias, M, and Blazevich, AJ. Similarity in adaptations to high-resistance circuit vs. traditional strength training in resistance-trained men. J Strength Cond Res 25(9): 2519-2527, 2011—To compare the effects of 8 weeks of high-resistance circuit (HRC) training (3-6 sets of 6 exercises, 6 repetition maximum [RM], ∼35-second interset recovery) and traditional strength (TS) training (3-6 sets of 6 exercises, 6RM, 3-minute interset recovery) on physical performance parameters and body composition, 33 healthy men were randomly assigned to HRC, TS, or a control group. Training consisted of weight lifting 3 times a week for 8 weeks. Before and after the training, 1RM strength on bench press and half squat exercises, bench press peak power output, and body composition (dual x-ray absorptiometry ) were determined. Shuttle run and 30-second Wingate tests were also completed. Upper limb (UL) and lower limb 1RM increased equally after both TS and HRC training. The UL peak power at various loads was significantly higher at posttraining for both groups (p ≤ 0.01). Shuttle-run performance was significantly better after both HRC and TS training, however peak cycling power increased only in TS training (p ≤ 0.05). Significant decreases were found in % body fat in the HRC group only; HRC and TS training both resulted in an increased lean but not bone mass. The HRC training was as effective as TS for improving weight lifting 1RM and peak power, shuttle-run performance and lean mass. Thus, HRC training promoted a similar strength-mass adaptation as traditional training while using a shorter training session duration.

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