Effects of Moderators on Physical Training Programs: A Bayesian Approach

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Vetter, RE, Yu, H, and Foose, AK. Effects of moderators on physical training programs: a Bayesian approach. J Strength Cond Res 31(7): 1868–1878, 2017—Creating an optimal physical training program is an important focus in sport and exercise research. The purpose of this research was to examine how different moderators (age, ability level, training weeks, training frequencies, and intensity) impacted the physiological outcomes of specific exercise training programs (muscular strength, speed, power, and cardiorespiratory) using the Bayesian method. A Bayesian approach uses flexible frameworks to determine the pattern of outcomes. This Bayesian analysis combined data generated by 34 previous studies from 1984 to 2015 to improve estimates of effects; these studies rendered 312 cases. The analyses for age were strong in cardiorespiratory and speed but less in power and muscular strength. Ability level was not a predictor of outcomes in each of the 4 areas. Training weeks contributed to power and cardiorespiratory, but not for speed, whereas for strength the effect size (ES) increased only up to the 16th week. Training frequency was a nonsignificant predictor of ES; most of the included studies within this analysis used only training frequencies of 2 or 3 days. Training intensity clearly contributed to the ES. The pattern of influence for intensity level in strength was greatest between 55 and 80%, in power it increased at 65% and continued in a positive linear pattern, in cardiorespiratory it increased up to 65% and then plateaued, and for speed no inferences could be made.

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