Similarity in Adaptations to High-Resistance Circuit vs. Traditional Strength Training in Resistance-Trained Men

Pedro Alcaraz, Jorge Perez-Gomez, Manuel Chavarrias, and Anthony Blazevich

Purpose: To compare the effects of 8 weeks of high-resistance circuit (HRC) training (3-6 sets of 6 exercises, 6 repetition maximum [RM], ∼35-second interset recovery) and traditional strength (TS) training (3-6 sets of 6 exercises, 6RM, 3-minute interset recovery) on physical performance parameters and body composition.

Conclusions: Upper limb (UL) and lower limb 1RM increased equally after both TS and HRC training. The UL peak power at various loads was significantly higher at post-training for both groups (p ≤ 0.01). Shuttle-run performance was significantly better after both HRC and TS training, however peak cycling power increased only in TS training (p ≤ 0.05). Significant decreases were found in % body fat in the HRC group only; HRC and TS training both resulted in an increased lean but not bone mass. The HRC training was as effective as TS for improving weight lifting 1RM and peak power, shuttle-run performance and lean mass.

IN PLAIN ENGLISH: Surprise! Strength training with minimized rest intervals between sets and exercises can actually make you strong AND enhance other fitness parameters...and save you time!