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Effect of Heavy vs. Moderate Loads on Strength & Hypertrophy

December 27, 2016

Training with heavy loads are superior for strength gains and moderate load training is better for muscle hypertrophy 🏋
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Recent study by Schoenfeld and colleagues (2016) showing that training in the 2-4 rep range produces greater increases in strength, whereas training in the 8-12 rep range led to greater increases in muscle thickness 📈
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Training volume was not equated between groups in the present study with the moderate group completing more than twice the volume of the heavy group, ~56000 vs. ~26000 kg, respectively over the course of the study 📊
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It is to be expected that the group with the greater training volume would have greater muscle hypertrophy, but the results do provide some interesting questions related to the mechanisms behind high load lifting and strength gains in resistance trained males 🤔
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The underlying mechanisms are yet to be established, but it can be postulated that neural adaptations to higher load training (close to 1RM) improves function during 1RM testing. Furthermore, training specifically for your goal is essential. If you want to get strong, train with heavy loads. If you want to get big, maybe train with moderate loads. If you want a combination of both, you should probably vary your rep ranges across the strength-endurance continuum ☝️️
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Link to the full study can be found here: http://www.jssm.org/volume15/iss4/cap/jssm-15-715.pdf 👈

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