|What now? Wait 3 minutes or off to the bench for an alternate set of bench presses or pulls ?|
The above is how Anthony B. Ciccone, Lee E. Brown, Jared W. Coburn, Andrew J. Galpin kick off their latest paper in the venerable Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Publish Ahead of Print).
The purpose of the corresponding study was to compare the effects of traditional to those of alternating whole body strength training on squat performance. To this ends, Ciccone et al. recruites 20 youn men, who had to perform two workouts:
- The traditional set workout (TS) consisted of four sets of squats at 80% of 1RM on a force plate with 3-minutes rest between sets.
- The alternating set workout (AS) also consisted of four sets of squats at 80% of 1RM but with bench press, and bench pull exercises performed between squat sets 1, 2 & 3 with between-exercise rest of 50 seconds, resulting in approximately 3-minutes rest between squat sets.
|Figure 1: Maximal # of reps on last set and average power in the classic vs. alternating condition (Ciccone. 2014)|
- Individuals who aim to optimize squat AP should refrain from performing more than three AS sets per exercise.
- Those who aim to maximize squat repetitions to failure should refrain from performing upper body multi-joint exercises during squat rest intervals.
- Ahtianen, Juha P., et al. "Short vs. long rest period between the sets in hypertrophic resistance training: influence on muscle strength, size, and hormonal adaptations in trained men." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 19.3 (2005): 572-582.
- Ciccone AB, et al. "Effects of Traditional Versus Alternating Whole-body Strength Training on Squat Performance." J Strength Cond Res. (2014) Jun 17. Ahead of print.
- de Salles, Belmiro Freitas, et al. "Rest interval between sets in strength training." Sports Medicine 39.9 (2009): 765-777.