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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2019 Jan;51(1):94-103.
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001764.

Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men

Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men

Brad J Schoenfeld et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. .
Free PMC article


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate muscular adaptations between low-, moderate-, and high-volume resistance training protocols in resistance-trained men.

Methods: Thirty-four healthy resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups: a low-volume group performing one set per exercise per training session (n = 11), a moderate-volume group performing three sets per exercise per training session (n = 12), or a high-volume group performing five sets per exercise per training session (n = 11). Training for all routines consisted of three weekly sessions performed on nonconsecutive days for 8 wk. Muscular strength was evaluated with one repetition maximum (RM) testing for the squat and bench press. Upper-body muscle endurance was evaluated using 50% of subjects bench press 1RM performed to momentary failure. Muscle hypertrophy was evaluated using B-mode ultrasonography for the elbow flexors, elbow extensors, mid-thigh, and lateral thigh.

Results: Results showed significant preintervention to postintervention increases in strength and endurance in all groups, with no significant between-group differences. Alternatively, while all groups increased muscle size in most of the measured sites from preintervention to postintervention, significant increases favoring the higher-volume conditions were seen for the elbow flexors, mid-thigh, and lateral thigh.

Conclusions: Marked increases in strength and endurance can be attained by resistance-trained individuals with just three 13-min weekly sessions over an 8-wk period, and these gains are similar to that achieved with a substantially greater time commitment. Alternatively, muscle hypertrophy follows a dose-response relationship, with increasingly greater gains achieved with higher training volumes.


Flowchart of data collection process.
Prestudy to poststudy changes in muscle strength and endurance for each condition. (A) 1RM bench press; (B) 1RM squat; (C) upper body muscular endurance. Values for 1RMBENCH and RMSQUAT are in kilograms; values for 50%BP are in repetitions.
Prestudy to poststudy changes in MT for each condition. (A) Elbow flexors; (B) elbow extensors; (C) mid-thigh; (D) lateral thigh. All values are in millimeters.

Comment in

  • Statistical Power in a Recent Study by Schoenfeld et al.
    Mizelman E. Mizelman E. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 Sep;51(9):1971. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001999. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019. PMID: 31415023 No abstract available.
  • Response.
    Schoenfeld BJ, Contreras B, Krieger J, Grgic J, Delcastillo K, Belliard R, Alto A. Schoenfeld BJ, et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 Sep;51(9):1972. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002000. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019. PMID: 31415024 No abstract available.

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