Jeffrey M. Willardson, John Emmett, Jon A. Oliver and Eadric Bressel
This study compared failure versus nonfailure training with equated intensity and volume on lower body muscular endurance in trained men.
Each subject performed one lower body workout per week for 6 weeks; the Failure group performed 3 sets of the squat, leg curl, and leg extension exercises to the point of voluntary exhaustion, while the Nonfailure group performed 4 sets for each of these exercises, but with a submaximal number of repetitions that did not allow failure to occur on any set. All subjects performed a pre- and postintervention muscular endurance test that involved 3 sets each for the squat, leg curl, and leg extension exercises. Blood lactate concentration (BL) was assessed before, and at 5 and 10 minutes following the test. Heart rate (HR) was assessed before the test, following the last set of each exercise, and for 10 minutes following the test.
Both groups demonstrated significant increases in total work (P < .0001) for the postintervention test, with no significant differences between the groups (P = .882). When comparing the pre- and postintervention tests, BL and HR were not significantly different at any time point (P > .05).
These results indicate that when intensity and volume are equated, failure or nonfailure training results in similar gains in lower body muscular endurance. Therefore, when assessed over relatively short training cycles, the total volume of training might be more important versus whether sets are performed to failure for muscular endurance-related adaptations.
Jeffrey M. Willardson, Fabio E. Fontana and Eadric Bressel
To compare core muscle activity during resistance exercises performed on stable ground vs. the BOSU Balance Trainer.
Twelve trained men performed the back squat, dead lift, overhead press, and curl lifts. The activity of the rectus abdominis, external oblique abdominis, transversus abdominis/internal oblique abdominis, and erector spinae muscles was assessed. Subjects performed each lift under three separate conditions including standing on stable ground with 50% of a 1-RM, standing on a BOSU Balance Trainer with 50% of a 1-RM, and standing on stable ground with 75% of a 1-RM.
Significant differences were noted between the stable 75% of 1-RM and BOSU 50% of 1-RM conditions for the rectus abdominis during the overhead press and transversus abdominis/internal oblique abdominis during the overhead press and curl (P < .05). Conversely, there were no significant differences between the stable 75% of 1-RM and BOSU 50% of 1-RM conditions for the external obliques and erector spinae across all lifts examined. Furthermore, there were no significant differences between the BOSU 50% of 1-RM and stable 50% of 1-RM conditions across all muscles and lifts examined.
The current study did not demonstrate any advantage in utilizing the BOSU Balance Trainer. Therefore, fitness trainers should be advised that each of the aforementioned lifts can be performed while standing on stable ground without losing the potential core muscle training benefits.
Marco Machado, Alexander J. Koch, Jeffrey M. Willardson, Frederico C. dos Santos, Victor M. Curty and Lucas N. Pereira
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of caffeine ingestion before a resistance exercise session on markers of muscle damage (CK, LDH, ALT, AST) and leukocyte levels.
Fifteen soccer athletes completed two resistance exercise sessions that differed only in the ingestion of caffeine or a placebo preworkout.
CK concentration increased significantly following the caffeine session (415.8 ± 62.8 to 542.0 ± 73.5) and the placebo session (411.5 ± 43.3 to 545.8 ± 59.9), with no significant differences between sessions. Similarly, LDH concentration increased significantly following the caffeine session (377.5 ± 18.0 to 580.5 ± 36.1) and the placebo session (384.8 ± 13.9 to 570.4 ± 36.1), with no significant differences between sessions. Both sessions resulted in significant increases in the total leukocyte count (caffeine = 6.24 ± 2.08 to 8.84 ± 3.41; placebo = 6.36 ± 2.34 to 8.77 ± 3.20), neutrophils (caffeine = 3.37 ± 0.13 to 5.15 ± 0.28; placebo = 3.46 ± 0.17 to 5.12 ± 0.24), lymphocytes (caffeine = 2.19 ± 0.091 to 2.78 ± 0.10; placebo = 2.17 ± 0.100 to 2.75 ± 0.11), and monocytes (caffeine = 0.53 ± 0.02 to 0.72 ± 0.06; placebo = 0.56 ± 0.03 to 0.69 ± 0.04), with no significant differences between sessions.
Ingestion of caffeine at 4.5 mg⋅kg-1 did not augment markers of muscle damage or leukocyte levels above that which occurs through resistance exercise alone.