High Resistance-Training Volume Enhances Muscle Thickness in Resistance-Trained Men

J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Dec 20. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003413. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Brigatto, FA, Lima, LEdM, Germano, MD, Aoki, MS, Braz, TV, and Lopes, CR. High resistance-training volume enhances muscle thickness in resistance-trained men. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2019-This study investigated the effects of different volumes of resistance training (RT) (8 weeks of 16, 24, and 32 weekly sets per muscle group) on muscular strength and hypertrophy. Subjects were pair-matched according to baseline strength and then randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental groups: 16 weekly sets per muscle group (G16, n = 9), 24 weekly sets per muscle group (G24, n = 9), or 32 weekly sets per muscle group (G32, n = 9). All other RT variables (e.g., exercise performed, exercise order, weekly frequency, range of repetitions, rest interval between sets and exercises, etc.) were maintained constant. The total load lifted was calculated for every RT session to compare the accumulated external training load among experimental groups across the intervention period. Testing was conducted before intervention (pre) and after 8-week (post-8) periods for maximal voluntary muscle strength (1 repetition maximum [1RM] test for bench press and parallel back squat exercises) and muscle thickness (MT) of the biceps brachii, triceps brachii, and vastus lateralis. The major findings were as follows: (a) all RT volumes increased bench press and parallel back squat 1RM and (b) all RT volumes increased the biceps brachii, triceps brachii, and vastus lateralis MT. The magnitude of increase in 1RM and MT of the lower body when training with 32 weekly sets per muscle group was higher than for 16 weekly sets per muscle group. The magnitude of the increase in MTTB was higher when training with 32 weekly sets than for 16 weekly sets.