Effects of Synergist vs. NonSynergist Split Resistance Training Routines on Acute Neuromuscular Performance in Resistance-Trained Men

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Abstract

Castanheira, RPM, Ferreira-Junior, JB, Celes, RS, Rocha-Junior, VA, Cadore, EL, Izquierdo, M, and Bottaro, M. Effects of synergist vs. nonsynergist split resistance training routines on acute neuromuscular performance in resistance-trained men. J Strength Cond Res 31(12): 3482–3488, 2017—The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of synergist (SN) vs. nonsynergist (NS) split resistance training routines on the acute neuromuscular performance of the elbow flexors in resistance-trained men. Fifteen resistance-trained men (age: 23.2 ± 4.0 years, height: 173.0 ± 0.08 cm, and body mass: 78.38 ± 9.31 kg) randomly performed 3 training routines separated by an interval of 7 days: (a) pull-pull exercises (SN), which included 6 sets of 10 repetition maximum (RM) of a seated row exercise followed by 4 sets of 10RM of the preacher biceps curl exercise; (b) push-pull exercises (NS), which included 6 sets of 10RM of the bench press exercise followed by 4 sets of 10RM of the preacher biceps curl exercise; and (c) Control, which included 4 sets of 10RM of the preacher biceps curl exercise. Elbow flexors peak torque, total work, and the amplitude of electromyography signal (EMG root mean square) were measured during the elbow flexor isokinetic exercise. Peak torque was 10.2 and 3.9% higher during Control condition when compared with the SN and NS conditions, respectively (p ≤ 0.05). Peak torque was also 6.0% greater in the NS condition than the SN condition (p ≤ 0.05). Moreover, total work was 5.1% greater in the NS condition than the SN condition. Additionally, EMG findings did not differ among conditions (p > 0.05). In conclusion, a push and pull NS split routine is recommended to maximize elbow flexor training performance (i.e., lower acute loading effect) in trained subjects.

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