Sportsmen looking to build muscle should focus on the intensity of their training rather than the volume, according to new research.

sport science

Scientists at the University of Central Florida tracked two groups of athletes over an eight-week period; the first group conducted high volume exercises, doing 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions of weights representing 70% of their maximum lift, with 1 minute’s rest between each set.

The second group worked at high intensity, doing 4 sets of just 3-5 repetitions at 90% of their maximum, with 3 minutes’ rest between each set.

At the end of the test period, greater improvements across a variety of measures were recorded for the high intensity group, especially for lean arm mass and maximum bench press.

“The results of this study indicate that a high-intensity, low volume resistance training program utilising a long rest interval (3 minutes) is more advantageous than a moderate intensity, high-volume (10–12 rep) program utilising a short rest interval (1 minute) for stimulating upper body strength gains,” concluded the researchers in the journal Physiological Reports.

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