|A personal trainer who knows what he's doing is that he will push you exactly so far as it is necessary to make maximal progress. Interestingly, even the best trainers will fail doing the same for themselves.|
But let's not waste any more time and sprint straight to the point! Zelt et al. published the results of the initially mentioned study in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Applied Physiology (Zelt. 2014).
As Zelt et al. point out, the purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to confirm that reductions in SIT work-interval duration do not result in reduced adaptations in aerobic and anaerobic capacity, and (2) to examine the effects of reduced work interval duration on submaximal determinants of exercise performance, namely lactate threshold and critical power.
In accordance with previous studies where aerobic capacity and aerobic performance were measured (Burgomaster. 2008; Hazell. 2010), the scientists hypothesized that reducing SIT work interval duration would have no effect on training-induced increases in lactate threshold and critical power.
|Figure 1: Effects of high (SIT30) and lower volume (SIT15) training on power output and lactate threshold (Zelt. 2014)|
"A significant main effect of training was observed such that lactate threshold and critical power were higher during post-testing across all groups (p < 0.05). There was a main effect of training (p < 0.05) on Wingate peak power with no differences observed between groups at post training."As the researchers point out, these results clearly indicate that "reducing SIT work-interval duration from 30 to 15 s had no impact on training-induced increases in aerobic or anaerobic power, or on increases in lactate threshold (absolute) and critical power."
The initially hinted at question that remains is yet: "Is this true for the more popular training goal of getting strong, ripped and buffed, as well?" The answer to this question is certainly not easy to answer, as it may easily depend on your training status, your exact goals and maybe even the body parts you're training. You don't get it? Well, I guess it's best I'll provide you with a few examples:
Look at his legs, Ronnie Coleman must have done something right... and guess what, the study at hand suggests that part of it could have been his insane training volume.
- the classic single vs. three set debate is still not settled -- While Starky et al.'s 1996 study is one of the studies that appears to tip the scale in favor of studies suggests that there is no significant different in the strength and muscle gains in response to increasing the number of sets on a given exercise from one to three sets. Unfortunately, Starky et al. as well as most of their successors picked untrained noobs to test their hypothesis. And we all know: Noobs grow from simply looking at a barbell, right?
So what do other studies say? Studies that used subjects like you and me? People who have been training regularly for ten or more years? People like the fifty-one experienced (>3 years), trained junior lifters who were randomly assigned to low, medium and high volume resistance training in a 2005 study by Juan J. Gonzalez-Badillo et al.
- the lower the volume, the higher the frequency -- Furthermore, the overview in Table 1, which was originally published as part of a review of the determinants of strength training success by Tan (1999) shows that another volume-related parameter, i.e. the training frequency, figures, as well; with high(er) frequencies producing greater increases in strength gains.
Table 1: Summary of studies looking into optimal training frequency (Tan. 1999)
The fact that it seems as if the upper body would respond more favorably to increases in training frequency than the lower body would albeit stand in line with the previously cited beneficial effects of high(er) volume training on the legs.
learn more) used a high volume on training days, but a necessarily low training frequency (two session per week, A + B). As Tan points out, ...
"[...a]nother point to note from Table 1 is that previously trained athletes are closer to their strength potential and may require higher frequencies compared with untrained athletes" (Tan. 1999)."A statement that takes us back to the simple, but significant assessment that we cannot expect to find a training volume that's perfect for everyone: Individualization is key!
|Table 2: Recommendations for dynamic external resistance training for hypertrophy (Wernborn. 2007)|
- Abe, Takashi, Charles F. Kearns, and Yoshiaki Sato. "Muscle size and strength are increased following walk training with restricted venous blood flow from the leg muscle, Kaatsu-walk training." Journal of Applied Physiology 100.5 (2006): 1460-1466.
- Robbins, Daniel W., Paul WM Marshall, and Megan McEwen. "The effect of training volume on lower-body strength." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 26.1 (2012): 34-39.
- Tan, Benedict. "Manipulating resistance training program variables to optimize maximum strength in men: a review." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 13.3 (1999): 289-304.
- Wernbom, Mathias, Jesper Augustsson, and Roland Thomeé. "The influence of frequency, intensity, volume and mode of strength training on whole muscle cross-sectional area in humans." Sports Medicine 37.3 (2007): 225-264.
- Zelt, Jason GE, et al. "Reducing the volume of sprint interval training does not diminish maximal and submaximal performance gains in healthy men." European journal of applied physiology (2014): 1-10.