Postexercise Hypotension and Heart Rate Variability Responses Subsequent to Traditional, Paired Set, and Superset Training Methods

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The purpose of this study was to compare training volume, post-exercise hypotension (PEH) and heart rate variability (HRV) responses to different strength training methods. Thirteen trained men volunteered for this study. Three training methods were completed in a randomized design, which included: Traditional Set (TS) – three successive sets for the lying bench press (LBP), lat pulldown (LPD), incline 45° bench press (BP45), seated close-grip row (SCR), triceps extension (TE), and biceps curl (BC), with a 90 sec. rest interval between sets and exercises; Paired Set (PS) – three paired sets for the LBP-LPD, BP45-SCR, and TE-BC, with a 90 sec. rest interval between sets and exercises; and Super-Set (SS) – three super-sets for the LBP-LPD, BP45-SCR, and TE-BC. During the SS session, no rest was permitted between paired sets, followed by 180 sec. rest after each super-set. Ten repetition maximum (RM) loads were adopted for all exercises. Blood pressure and HRV were measured at baseline, immediately post-session, and at 10 min. intervals until 60 min. post session. Significantly greater training volume was noted under the SS method (8608.6 ± 2062.2 kg) versus the TS method (7527.5 ± 2365.1kg), respectively. Significantly greater training volume was also observed under the PS method (8262.3 ± 2491.2kg) versus the TS method (p ≤ 0.05). No main effects for HRV and PEH were noted between protocols (p > 0.05). However, similar PEH responses intra-protocol were observed for the TS, PS and SS methods (p ≤ 0.05). Considering the duration of the PEH intra-protocol, large effect sizes were noted for the SS and PS methods versus the TS method in diastolic and mean blood pressure. Therefore, both the PS and SS methods may be an alternative to the TS method to achieve greater total work and training volume with a tendency towards a longer PEH response.

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