Impact of range-of-motion during ecologically validresistance training protocols, on muscle size, subcutaneous fat and strength
Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association | 1 May 2013
G Eugene McMahon and G Onambélé-Pearson
The impact of using different resistance training (RT) kinematics, which therefore alters RT mechanics, and their subsequent effect on adaptations remain largely unreported. The aim of this study was to identify differences to training at a longer (LR) compared with a shorter (SR) range of motion, as well as the time-course of any changes during detraining. Recreationally active participants in LR (aged 19 ± 2.6 years; n=8) and SR (aged 19 ± 3.4 years; n=8) groups undertook 8 weeks of RT and 4 weeks detraining. Muscle size, architecture, subcutaneous fat and strength were measured at weeks 0, 8, 10 and 12 (repeated measures). A control group (aged 23 ± 2.4 years; n=10) was also monitored during this period. Significant (p>0.05) post-training differences existed in strength (on average 4±2% vs. 18±2%), distal anatomical cross-sectional area (59±15% vs. 16±10%), fascicle length (23±5% vs. 10±2%) and subcutaneous fat (22±8% vs. 5±2%), with LR exhibiting greater adaptations than SR. Detraining resulted in significant (p>0.05) deteriorations in all muscle parameters measured in both groups, with the SR group experiencing a more rapid relative loss of post-exercise increases in strength than LR (p>0.05). Greater morphological and architectural RT adaptations in LR (owing to higher mechanical stress) result in a more significant increase in strength compared to SR. The practical implications for this body of work follow that LR should be observed in resistance training where increased muscle strength and size are the objective, since we demonstrate here that ROM should not be compromised for greater external loading.
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