Low-Load, High-Volume Resistance Training

Most Effective For Increasing Muscle Protein Synthesis

Low-Load, High-Volume Resistance Training - Most Effective For Increasing Muscle Protein Synthesis
For centuries, scientists, coaches, and athletes have argued about the best loading strategy for increasing muscle growth. Conventional wisdom is that muscles grow best in response to time under tension. A McMaster University study led by Nicholas Burd found that low-load, high-volume resistance exercise was more effective for stimulating muscle protein synthesis than high-load, low volume exercise. On different days, test subjects performed knee extensions to failure using loads of 90 percent or 30 percent of 1-rep maximum.

The scientists used sophisticated methods to measure muscle protein synthesis from muscle biopsies taken during recovery. The high-rep, low-load workout stimulated protein synthesis the most. While the study has important implications for athletes, we need more research to support this training method. (PLoS ONE online)

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