Article Review: Intensity needed for best muscle gain
Article: Lasevicius, T., Ugrinowitsch, C., Schoenfeld, B.J., Roschel, H., Tavares, L.D., De Souza, E.O., Laurentino, G. and Tricoli, V., 2018. Effects of different intensities of resistance training with equated volume load on muscle strength and hypertrophy. European journal of sport science, 18(6), pp.772-780.
Design: 30 men with no resistance training experience underwent the within subject design. Where one arm and leg was trained at 20%1RM till volitional failure, whilst the other limb was trained at either 40%, 60% or 80%1RM to the same equated volume for 12 weeks.
Findings: They found an increase in strength, and cross-sectional area of the muscle across all limbs from week 1 to week 12. For cross sectional area, notably though the increase from week 1 -12 was increased in all from week 1, the increase was the same in 20,40 and 60% load but significantly greater in 80%. In the strength department, all increased again from week 1, but compared to 20% load, 60% and 80% improved in leg strength, and only 80% load for the arm flexors.
My Thoughts: This is study has a large amount of credibility due to the matching of volume. One of the most influential variables for hypertrophy is volume, so by matching the volume removes it as a variable. Whilst there was an increase in all variables, this is not surprising as the participants were unchanged. The strength appeared to plateau for the lower intensities after 6 weeks, which adds argument that the improvement may be purely neuromuscular from being newly exposed to a stimulus, and that if they were trained it may not improve when intensities are lower than 60% This study provides evidence that working at a higher intensity will allow for a larger improvement in strength and hypertrophy than those at lesser intensity.