Research Roundup 5.11.23


By Anna Woodring, MTI Strength & Conditioning Coach

Training principles: evaluation of modes and methods of resistance training – a coaching perspective 
The article published in the Journal of Sports Sciences discusses the principles of resistance training, including the various modes and methods of resistance training that can be used to improve strength and performance. The authors provide an overview of different types of resistance training, such as free weights, machines, and bodyweight exercises, and evaluate the effectiveness and potential limitations of each mode. The article also covers the principles of program design and periodization, as well as the importance of monitoring progress and adapting training programs to meet individual needs and goals. The authors provide a coaching perspective on resistance training, emphasizing the need for a thorough understanding of the principles and methods involved in order to optimize training outcomes. 

Results: This study concluded that for most activities training with complex, multi joint exercises using free weights can produce superior results compared to training with machines. During this study a major factor that showed superiority to free weights was mechanical specificity. 

Exercise specificity and training specificity lead to a greater transfer of training effects. The use of free weights resulted in a more effective transfer of training. 

Takeaway: The majority of resistance training, if limited to equipment, should include free weights instead of machines. Machines should only be used if there is a need to isolate specific muscle groups, such as after an injury. If on the road, choose the free weight option even if the weight is not as heavy as what the machines can provide. 

A Physiological Description and Comparison of a Barbell and Dumbbell Complex Among Resistance Trained Males
This article was published from research done at Oklahoma State University. The purpose of the study was to investigate the comparison between different modalities of barbell and dumbbell complexes. The study lasted three weeks and included ten male participants who all had at least one year of training experience. VO2max was assessed, and complexes were assigned to each group. Participants were separated into two groups, either barbell or dumbbell. Metabolic and respiratory data, including heart rate response, relative heart rate response, oxygen consumption, respiratory frequency, tidal volume, minute ventilation, ventilatory equivalents for oxygen, fraction of expired oxygen, metabolic equivalents, and energy expenditure, were recorded throughout the duration of the workout. 

ResultsSignificant differences in loads utilized for the barbell and dumbbell complexes were observed with the barbell complex having higher values. Significant differences were also observed in time to completion with the barbell complex time to completion being greater. Significant differences in energy expenditure with the barbell complex displaying overall greater caloric demands.

TakeawayBarbell complexes show to have an overall advantage in the amount of weight one can lift, faster completion time, and a higher expenditure of calories in a session. Limited on time? Grab the barbell for complexes. 

The effect of exercise training on anxiety symptoms among patients: a systematic review.
Published by the Archives of Internal Medicine. This article provides an overview of the current literature on the relationship between resistance training and anxiety management. The authors explain how resistance training can help to reduce stress and improve mental health, including reducing anxiety and depression symptoms, improving self-esteem, and enhancing cognitive function. They also discuss the physiological mechanisms that may underlie these benefits, such as the release of endorphins and the reduction of cortisol levels.

Results: Exercise training to include both resistance and aerobic sessions significantly reduced anxiety symptoms by a mean effect size of .29. Regular exercise can lead to a notable surge in endorphins while reducing cortisol production, as long as it is done consistently and with a minimal time commitment.

Takeaway: According to the study, the most significant improvements in anxiety were observed when a 12-week training program was prescribed, and each training session was at least 30 minutes in duration.

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