It has been suggested that sex differences exist in recovery following strength training. This study aimed to investigate the differences in recovery kinetics between resistance trained males and females following two different back squat (BSq) protocols. The first protocol (eight females and eight males) consisted of five sets of five repetitions at 80% of their one-repetition maximum (1RM) in the BSq (SMRT), while the second (seven females and eight males) consisted of five sets to muscular failure (MF) with a 4-6RM load (RMRT). The recovery was quantified with the mean concentric velocity (MV) at 80% of the 1RM immediately before and 5 min, 24, 48, and 72 h after the training protocol. Following the SMRT, a significant between-sex difference, favoring the females, was observed at 5 min, 24 h, and 48 h following the SMRT (p < 0.05, Effect Size (ES) = 1.01-2.25). Following the RMRT, only the males experienced a significant drop in performance after 5 min compared to the baseline (p = 0.025, ES = 1.34). However, no sex differences were observed at any timepoint (p > 0.05). These results suggest that males experienced more fatigue than females following a protocol where the volume relative to the 1RM was matched, while no differences in fatigue were evident following a protocol in which multiple sets were performed to MF.
Keywords: 1RM; fatigability; fatigue; sex differences; squat; strength training; velocity.