Background: It has been hypothesized that the ability to increase volume load (VL) via a progressive increase in the magnitude of load for a given exercise within a given repetition range could enhance the adaptive response to resistance training.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare changes in volume load (VL) over eight weeks of resistance training (RT) in high-versus low-load protocols.
Materials and Methods: Eighteen well-trained men were matched according to baseline strength were randomly assigned to either a low-load RT(LOW,n= 9) where 25 - 35 repetitions were performed per exercise, or a high-load RT (HIGH,n= 9) where 8 - 12 repetitions were performed per exercise. Both groups performed three sets of seven exercises for all major muscles three times per week on nonconsecutive days.
Results: After adjusting for the pre-test scores, there was a significant difference between the two intervention groups on post intervention total VL with a very large effect size (F (1, 15) = 16.598, P = .001, p2 = .525). There was a significant relationship between pre-intervention and post-intervention total VL (F (1, 15) = 32.048, P < .0001, p2 = .681) in which the pre-test scores explained 68% of the variance in the post-test scores.
Conclusions: This study indicates that low-load RT results in greater accumulations in VL compared to high-load RT over the course of 8 weeks of training.