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J Strength Cond Res. 2016 May;30(5):1425-32. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001222.

The Effects of Breakdown Set Resistance Training on Muscular Performance and Body Composition in Young Men and Women.

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1Southampton Solent University, Southampton, United Kingdom; and 2Discover Strength, Plymouth, Minnesota.


Breakdown (BD) training has been advocated by multiple commercial and academic publications and authors, seemingly as a result of the acute hormonal and muscle activation responses it produces. However, there is a relative dearth of research that has empirically considered this advanced method of resistance training (RT) over a chronic intervention while appropriately controlling other RT variables. The present study considered 36 male and female participants divided into 3 groups: BD (n = 11), heavy-load breakdown (n = 14), and traditional (n = 11), performing full-body RT programs 2 times per week for 12 weeks. No significant between-group differences were identified for change in absolute muscular endurance for chest press, leg press, or pull-down exercises or for body composition changes. Effect sizes for absolute muscular endurance changes were large for all groups and exercises (0.86-2.74). The present study supports previous research that the use of advanced training techniques stimulates no greater muscular adaptations when compared with performing more simplified RT protocols to momentary muscular failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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