Volume-equated high- and low-repetition daily undulating programming strategies produce similar hypertrophy and strength adaptations

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 Jul;41(7):699-705. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2015-0707. Epub 2016 Feb 16.


The overarching aim of this study was to compare volume-equated high-repetition daily undulating periodization (DUPHR) versus a low-repetition daily undulating periodization (DUPLR) program for muscle performance. Sixteen college-aged (23 ± 3 years) resistance-trained males were counterbalanced into 2 groups: (i) DUPHR (n = 8), with a weekly training order of 12 repetitions (Day 1), 10 repetitions (Day 2), and 8 repetitions (Day 3); and (ii) DUPLR (n = 8), with a weekly training order of 6 repetitions (Day 1), 4 repetitions (Day 2), and 2 repetitions (Day 3). Both groups trained 3 times/week for 8 weeks on nonconsecutive days, with pre- and post-training testing during weeks 1 and 8. Participants performed only squat and bench press exercises each session. Changes in one-repetition maximum (1RM) strength, muscle thickness (MT), and muscular endurance (ME) were assessed. Both groups significantly increased 1RM strength for both squat and bench press (p < 0.01), and no group differences existed (p > 0.05). Similarly, both groups experienced significant increases in chest, lateral quadriceps distal, and anterior quadriceps MT (p < 0.05), but no change was present in either group for lateral quadriceps mid MT (p < 0.05). No group differences were discovered for changes in MT (p > 0.05). ME did not significantly change in the squat or bench press for either group (p > 0.05); however, for squat ME, a moderate effect size was observed for DUPHR (0.57) versus a trivial effect size for DUPLR (0.17). Our findings suggest that in previously trained males, training volume is a significant contributor to strength and hypertrophy adaptations, which occur independently of specific repetition ranges.

Keywords: adaptation musculaire; entraînement contre résistance; entraînement à la force; muscle adaptation; muscle squelettique; resistance training; skeletal muscle; strength training.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Adiposity
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Resistance Training*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult