Determining Strength: A Case for Multiple Methods of Measurement
- 1.6k Downloads
Muscle strength is often measured through the performance of a one-repetition maximum (1RM). However, we that feel a true measurement of ‘strength’ remains elusive. For example, low-load alternatives to traditional resistance training result in muscle hypertrophic changes similar to those resulting from traditional high-load resistance training, with less robust changes observed with maximal strength measured by the 1RM. However, when strength is measured using a test to which both groups are ‘naive’, differences in strength become less apparent. We suggest that the 1RM is a specific skill, which will improve most when training incorporates its practice or when a lift is completed at a near-maximal load. Thus, if we only recognize increases in the 1RM as indicative of strength, we will overlook many effective and diverse alternatives to traditional high-load resistance training. We wish to suggest that multiple measurements of strength assessment be utilized in order to capture a more complete picture of the adaptation to resistance training.
KeywordsResistance Training Resistance Exercise Blood Flow Restriction Resistance Training Programme Maximal Isometric Strength
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No external sources of funding were used in the preparation of this article.
Conflict of interest
Samuel Buckner, Matthew Jessee, Kevin Mattocks, Grant Mouser, Brittany Counts, Scott Dankel and Jeremy Loenneke declare that they have no conflicts of interest that are relevant to the content of this article.
- 6.Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43(7):1334–59.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 7.Essentials of strength training and conditioning: National Strength and Conditioning Association. Baechle TR, Earle RW, editors. Champaign: Human Kinetics, 3rd edition; 2008. p. 401.Google Scholar
- 9.Stone MH, O’Bryant H, Garhammer J, et al. A theoretical model of strength training. Strength Cond J. 1982;4(4):36–9.Google Scholar
- 12.Morton RW, Oikawa SY, Wavell CG, et al. Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men. J Appl Physiol. 2016. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00154.2016 (Epub 12 May 2016).