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.
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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.
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Buckner, S.L., Jessee, M.B., Mattocks, K.T. et al. Determining Strength: A Case for Multiple Methods of Measurement. Sports Med 47, 193–195 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0580-3
- Resistance Training
- Resistance Exercise
- Blood Flow Restriction
- Resistance Training Programme
- Maximal Isometric Strength