Research - Intensity of Training

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Research - Intensity of Training

Postby Canuck Singh » Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:55 am

High Intensity Training
This study examined the recovery aspect of high intensity weight training and the results will provide most strength athletes and coaches with a lot of food for thought.
Two training loads were assessed to see how long each took to recover. The first group of trained strength athletes used 100% of their 3RM (repetitions maximum) poundages in the front and back squats and 100% of their 6RM in leg extensions. The second group utilized 70% instead of 100% of their RMs in the same exercises.
Recovery is a hard thing to measure, the simplest way is to see how long a period of time it takes to return to optimal capacity in a battery of muscular tests. The researchers used squat jump, isokenetic knee force tests and electrically evoked contraction to determine how long it took the athletes to return to their best result.
There is a big difference in intensity between using 70% and using 100% of your maximum weight in lifts of 3RM. The results from this study showed that the athletes lifting with 100% of their max needed 11 times longer to recover than the group using 70% of their max. The 70% maximal load group returned to optimal in the series of tests within three hours. While the group that trained with 100% of their max weight took up to 33hrs to return to their same results in the muscular tests. That's not double or triple the recovery time, that's eleven times longer.

Obviously these results do not mean you can train a muscle group again after as little as 3 hours when using loads of 70% max, nor that you can train legs again after only 33hrs recovery if you use 100% of maximum in your lifts. However, these results do indicate that the time required to recover when lifting 100% of maximum is not proportional to the % of intensity you are using. That in fact the recovery period required when performing maximal lifts is of far greater magnitude. While the difference between the percentages 70 and 100 does not seem that great, the time needed to recover differs enormously. Even the difference in recovery time between loads of 90 and 100% of maximum, will vary dramatically. Therefore take note of this when planning 100% max RM training sessions.

Ref Recovery of skeletal muscle contractility after high and moderate intensity strength exercise. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 82:206-214, 2000.
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