Dose-Response of Weekly Resistance Training Volume and Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Trained Males

Samuel R Heaselgrave, Joe Blacker, Benoit Smeuninx, James McKendry, Leigh Breen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
2026 Downloads (Pure)


PURPOSE: A linear dose-response relationship between resistance training (RT) volume and hypertrophy/strength has been proposed when ≤10-12 weekly sets are implemented. The present study aimed to understand the impact of low-to-high weekly RT volume on muscular adaptations in trained young males over 6-weeks of RT.

METHODS: RT-experienced males (n=49) were randomly allocated to a LOW (n=17), moderate (MOD; n=15) or HIGH (n=17) volume group, performing 9, 18 or 27 weekly sets of biceps RT, respectively, for 6-weeks. RT was performed once (LOW) or twice (MOD and HIGH) weekly. Post-exercise protein intake was controlled with both dietary intake and external training volume recorded. Prior-to and following RT, assessments of biceps muscle thickness (MT) via ultrasound, isometric and one repetition maximum (1RM) strength were performed. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA (baseline characteristics) and repeated measures ANOVA (within and between group pre-to-post change) Results: MT significantly increased in all groups (4.3±7.9%, 9.5±11.8% and 5.4±6.3% for LOW, MOD, HIGH, respectively, p<0.05) as did 1RM strength (p≤0.001 for all). Isometric strength increased significantly in HIGH only (8.5±15.1%, p<0.05). There were no significant differences between groups in MT or indices of strength. However, effect size estimates revealed the magnitude of response was 'moderate-to-large' for MOD and HIGH when compared with LOW.

CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate that 9 weekly sets of biceps-focused RT, performed in one weekly session, is sufficient to increase MT, whilst 18-27 sets, performed over two weekly sessions, may confer greater strength increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalInternational journal of sports physiology and performance
Early online date30 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2018


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