Effects of acute caffeine ingestion on resistance training performance and perceptual responses during repeated sets to failure

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015 May;55(5):383-9.


Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of oral caffeine ingestion during repeated sets of resistance.

Methods: Fourteen moderately resistance-trained men (20.9 ± 0.36 years and 77.62 ± 2.07 kg of body weight) ingested a dose of caffeine (5 mg.kg-1) or placebo prior to 3 sets of bench press and 3 sets of leg press exercises, respectively. The study used a double-blind, counterbalanced, crossover design. Repetitions completed and total weight lifted were recorded in each set. Readiness to invest in both physical (RTIPE) and mental (RTIME) effort were assessed prior each set, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was recorded after each set. Rest and peak heart rates were determined via telemetry.

Results: Caffeine ingestion result in increased number of repetitions to failure in bench press (F[1,13]=6.16, P=0.027) and leg press (F[1,13]=9.33, P=0.009) compared to placebo. The sum of repetitions performed in the 3 sets was 11.60% higher in bench press (26.86 ± 1.74; caffeine: 30.00 ± 1.87; P=0.027) and 19.10% in leg press (placebo: 40.0 ± 4.22; caffeine: 47.64 ± 4.69; P=0.009). Also, RTIME was increased in the caffeine condition both in bench press (F[1,13]=7.02, P=0.02) and in leg press (F[1,13]=5.41, P=0.03). There were no differences in RPE, RTIPE and HR (P>0.05) across conditions.

Conclusion: Acute caffeine ingestion can improve performance in repeated sets to failure and increase RTIME in resistance-trained men.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Reference Values
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Caffeine