High-Frequency Resistance Training Is Not More Effective Than Low-Frequency Resistance Training in Increasing Muscle Mass and Strength in Well-Trained Men

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Gomes, GK, Franco, CM, Nunes, PRP, and Orsatti, FL. High-frequency resistance training is not more effective than low-frequency resistance training in increasing muscle mass and strength in well-trained men. J Strength Cond Res 33(7S): S130–S139, 2019—We studied the effects of 2 different weekly frequency resistance training (RT) protocols over 8 weeks on muscle strength and muscle hypertrophy in well-trained men. Twenty-three subjects (age: 26.2 ± 4.2 years; RT experience: 6.9 ± 3.1 years) were randomly allocated into the 2 groups: low-frequency resistance training (LFRT, n = 12) or high-frequency resistance training (HFRT, n = 11). The LFRT performed a split-body routine, training each specific muscle group once a week. The HFRT performed a total-body routine, training all muscle groups every session. Both groups performed the same number of sets (10–15 sets) and exercises (1–2 exercise) per week, 8–12 repetitions maximum (70–80% of 1 repetition maximum [1RM]), 5 times per week. Muscle strength (bench press and squat 1RM) and lean tissue mass (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) were assessed before and at the end of the study. Results showed that both groups improved (p < 0.001) muscle strength {LFRT and HFRT: bench press = 5.6 kg (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.9–9.4) and 9.7 kg (95% CI: 4.6–14.9) and squat = 8.0 kg (95% CI: 2.7–13.2) and 12.0 kg (95% CI: 5.1–18.1), respectively} and lean tissue mass (p = 0.007) (LFRT and HFRT: total body lean mass = 0.5 kg [95% CI: 0.0–1.1] and 0.8 kg [95% CI: 0.0–1.6], respectively) with no difference between groups (bench press, p = 0.168; squat, p = 0.312, and total body lean mass, p = 0.619). Thus, HFRT and LFRT are similar overload strategies for promoting muscular adaptation in well-trained subjects when the sets and intensity are equated per week.

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