Establishing an optimal recovery time between repeated maximal stength sets on the squat and bench press
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of the present research study was to identify and refine through testing the optimum recovery time between repeated maximal strength sets using the squat and bench press exercises. This study was conducted due to a paucity of data on the optimal inter-set rest duration in the strength and conditioning literature (Hill-Haas., 2007). Seven male (n= 7) subjects from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff agreed to participate in the study (mean ± SD for age = 21.9 years ± 0.9, body mass = 93.2 kg ± 7.5). Subjects completed 4 repeated sets at their individual 4 RM load across 4 different interset recovery times, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds and 180 seconds. The total number of repetitions completed per set at each recovery period was recorded. Sustainability of repetitions was analysed across all recovery periods for both the squat and bench press. The study concluded that a relationship existed between the number of repetitions completed at each rest interval on both the bench press and the squat (p<0.05). It was found that the shorter the rest interval between repeated maximal sets, the fewer the mean number of repetitions completed across all 7 subjects. The 180 second rest period between sets allowed for the most recovery and resultantly the highest number of successfully completed repetitions in both exercises. At the 30 second rest interval a statistical significant difference occurred (p=0.21) in the number of repetitions completed in the squat and bench press. The squat was found to be more sustainable across all rest periods than the bench press. The findings were consistent with previous research and the lower sustainability of repetitions at the shorter recovery periods were attributed to the inability to sufficiently recover from both metabolic and neural fatigue. The findings are of use to strength and conditioning coaches and athletes, who are consistently seeking techniques to optimise adaptations and consequently strength performance. They are also of use to the general public who practice resistance training, they provide general guidelines of recovery for popular exercises.
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