September 13th 2004
Are You Getting the Most From Your Workout? Study finds weight-training beginners do not select enough weight to see results
Colorado Springs, Colo. The benefits of weight training are many (see list of benefits at www.nsca-lift.org/publications/posstatements.shtml#HealthAspects), but are you reluctant to pile on the weights? You shouldn’t be.
According to a recent study published by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Vol.18, No. 2, page 324-327), beginners to weight training may not be getting all the benefits, based on the amount of weight they select. Researchers at Grand Valley State University and Wayne State College conducted the study using 30 volunteers (13 men and 17 women). All subjects were previously untrained, and novices to resistance training. The subjects were asked to choose a weight that they felt would improve their muscular strength. No instructions were provided on the number of repetitions to perform, or to lift to fatigue.
Results show that both men and women selected intensities that were below 60% of their 1 repetition maximum (1RM) for all lifts. As the authors point out, research has revealed that loads of at least 6075% of 1RM are required for strength and hypertrophy gains. The individuals in the study selected intensities within the 40-60% 1RM range, which is not adequate to attain changes in the muscle. The authors suggest that in the health and fitness industry, trainers work with clients to perform strength testing, and provide proper instruction on the fundamentals of resistance training. It appears that individuals are unable to select an appropriate weight that will provide them with the many benefits of weight training, and as a result, may be more likely to become discouraged and quit.
To get the most from your workout, the NSCA recommends you work with a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) or NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) to help increase performance and reduce injury. You can find these strength and conditioning professionals listed by city on the NSCA web site at www.nsca-lift.org/CPTReferrals.
About the NSCA The National Strength and Conditioning Association is the leading authority on strength and conditioning. For 27 years, the NSCA has bridged science and application to provide reliable, research-based, strength and conditioning information to its members and the general public. With nearly 30,000 members worldwide, the NSCA is the largest health and fitness association in the world. For more information on NSCA professional journals, cutting edge conferences, educational text and videos, or other services, visit www.nsca-lift.org.
NOTE: The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is the official research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and is available from Alliance Communication Group at 800-627-0932. For a complete copy of the research paper (Vol. 18, No. 2, page 324-327) or to speak with a leading strength and conditioning expert on the topic, you may contact the NSCA Public Relations Department at 800-815-6826. ###
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