Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2017 Dec;117(12):2387-2399.
doi: 10.1007/s00421-017-3725-7. Epub 2017 Sep 30.

Time Course of Recovery Following Resistance Training Leading or Not to Failure


Time Course of Recovery Following Resistance Training Leading or Not to Failure

Ricardo Morán-Navarro et al. Eur J Appl Physiol. .


Purpose: To describe the acute and delayed time course of recovery following resistance training (RT) protocols differing in the number of repetitions (R) performed in each set (S) out of the maximum possible number (P).

Methods: Ten resistance-trained men undertook three RT protocols [S × R(P)]: (1) 3 × 5(10), (2) 6 × 5(10), and (3) 3 × 10(10) in the bench press (BP) and full squat (SQ) exercises. Selected mechanical and biochemical variables were assessed at seven time points (from - 12 h to + 72 h post-exercise). Countermovement jump height (CMJ) and movement velocity against the load that elicited a 1 m s-1 mean propulsive velocity (V1) and 75% 1RM in the BP and SQ were used as mechanical indicators of neuromuscular performance.

Results: Training to muscle failure in each set [3 × 10(10)], even when compared to completing the same total exercise volume [6 × 5(10)], resulted in a significantly higher acute decline of CMJ and velocity against the V1 and 75% 1RM loads in both BP and SQ. In contrast, recovery from the 3 × 5(10) and 6 × 5(10) protocols was significantly faster between 24 and 48 h post-exercise compared to 3 × 10(10). Markers of acute (ammonia, growth hormone) and delayed (creatine kinase) fatigue showed a markedly different course of recovery between protocols, suggesting that training to failure slows down recovery up to 24-48 h post-exercise.

Conclusions: RT leading to failure considerably increases the time needed for the recovery of neuromuscular function and metabolic and hormonal homeostasis. Avoiding failure would allow athletes to be in a better neuromuscular condition to undertake a new training session or competition in a shorter period of time.

Keywords: Back squat; Bench press; Hormonal response; Muscle strength; Weight training.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 8 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Br J Sports Med. 2002 Oct;36(5):370-3; discussion 374 - PubMed
    1. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Jul;106(4):629-38 - PubMed
    1. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004 Apr;36(4):674-88 - PubMed
    1. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e33807 - PubMed
    1. Sports Med. 2008;38(7):527-40 - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources