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Research Article

Low-Load High Volume Resistance Exercise Stimulates Muscle Protein Synthesis More Than High-Load Low Volume Resistance Exercise in Young Men

  • Nicholas A. Burd,

    Affiliation: Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Daniel W. D. West,

    Affiliation: Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Aaron W. Staples,

    Affiliation: Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Philip J. Atherton,

    Affiliation: School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health, City Hospital, University of Nottingham, Derby, United Kingdom

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  • Jeff M. Baker,

    Affiliation: Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Daniel R. Moore,

    Affiliation: Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Andrew M. Holwerda,

    Affiliation: Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Gianni Parise,

    Affiliations: Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Michael J. Rennie,

    Affiliation: School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health, City Hospital, University of Nottingham, Derby, United Kingdom

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  • Steven K. Baker,

    Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Stuart M. Phillips mail

    phillis@mcmaster.ca

    Affiliation: Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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  • Published: August 09, 2010
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012033

Reader Comments (9)

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Would a mixed scheme be superior?

Posted by darkocean on 10 Apr 2011 at 01:06 GMT

I have recently been looking at some hypertrophy research and would like to put to you some of the comments and conclusions I have found.

What follows is my understanding and my words, any corrections would be greatly appreciated.

The body is made up of different types of muscle fibres.
Different training protocols will preferentially recruit and emphasise the development of a particular fibre type.

Your research appears to be aimed at unspecific hypertrophy. That is to say it was not aimed at hypertrophying a specific muscle fibre type, in an effort to enhance a specific athletic quality.

For example, the hypertrophy development required by a powerlifter, in an open weight class, might be very different from that required by a lightweight boxer (who must stay within his weight class), or a sprinter (who required a high degree of relative strength to overcome his mass), or a bodybuilder (who doesn't require athletic performance).

My understanding is that there are two options to create hypertrophy: 1 Mechanical stress and 2 metabolic stress.

Your research indicates that metabolic stress causes a greater degree of hypertrophy (?) in comparison to mechanical stress but even if this is true, would you say that the type of hypertrophy gained may not be the most desirable for some athletes?

Would you say, that although this research indicates that metabolic stress is the most effective single method; best results are going to be achieved following an inclusive strategy of using both metabolic and mechanical stress variables?

What about time under tension? I am thinking along the line of emphasizing acceleration on the concentric and slowing down on the eccentric. My understanding is that acceleration would improve general athleticism, would target type II fibres, improve hypertrophy (because it is a larger fibre type) and provide a higher metabolic effect; while slowing down the eccentric would create significantly greater muscle tissue disruption and improve results under the heading of mechanical tension?

Would your results perhaps shown the opposite conclusion, magnifying mechanical stress results if you emphasised the eccentric phase?

Have you considered what might be the effect on hypertrophy, if you took a weight that was at 60% 1RM and pursued volumes that were far greater than traditionally used in bodybuilding?

Have you considered the effect of rest? I am thinking along the line of incomplete rest to stimulate hormonal production?
I look forward to your research results comparing hypertrophy gains between metabolic and mechanical stress training groups.

Regards

Anthony sharah

No competing interests declared.

RE: Would a mixed scheme be superior?

smphillips replied to darkocean on 12 Apr 2011 at 04:51 GMT

Anthony: Your understanding of hypertrophy is a bit incomplete and in certain cases incorrect. The variables you suggest are all things we've either tested or will be testing. What we present here is something that, by all accounts of what's required for hypertrophy, shouldn't happen! We're doing more work in this area and it's not that what we've shown here is a means unto an end, but merely something new. Your questions have also been answered by many many other studies.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Would a mixed scheme be superior?

darkocean replied to smphillips on 12 Apr 2011 at 13:02 GMT

Hi,

I am not sure why you would think low load high volume would not cause hypertrophy. Or why you think this is something new. This is a method that has been used throughout history. Long hours of physical labor have always developed the body. Look at blacksmiths, farmers and warriors throughout history.

I was hoping to get some meaningful information. How can you say that other studies have answered my questions, when my questions are an inquiry into how you personally have structured your research? What you personally have considered and what you have left out. Furthermore, you state that you believe that this is a finding that none other have discovered. If you truly believe that you have discovered something new, then surely these questions that have been asked before, are more relevant than ever; as they are now being asked in the light of new knowledge.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Would a mixed scheme be superior?

overfiftylifter replied to darkocean on 14 Apr 2011 at 01:41 GMT

I think that his work is one of the few to demonstrate the greater value of effort over load. One does not find much research using lower loads done to momentary failure. I applaud the research and perhaps his further work will further dissolve some of the resistance training myths. This research may be a good fit to go along with the material on the Size Principle in that maximal effort elicits maximum activation of motor units no matter the load.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Would a mixed scheme be superior?

darkocean replied to overfiftylifter on 17 Apr 2011 at 00:13 GMT

Thanks for your reply overfiftylifter,

What we need, is to know how we can most effectively specify muscle fibre type development. It really is as simple as that.

Unfortunately this research was not goal oriented. Goal orientated in terms of what an individual could use, to more efficiently reach their goals.

Have a good day

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Would a mixed scheme be superior?

overfiftylifter replied to darkocean on 17 Apr 2011 at 17:50 GMT

Perhaps these are examples of the type of information you are seeking?
http://onlinelibrary.wile...
http://www.springerlink.c...

No competing interests declared.

Would a mixed scheme be superior?

darkocean replied to overfiftylifter on 18 Apr 2011 at 03:05 GMT

Awesome,

I will go and read these now. I very much appreciate you effort here.

Have a great day.

No competing interests declared.