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Molecular Differences in Skeletal Muscle After 1 Week of Active vs. Passive Recovery from High-Volume Resistance Training.

Vann, Christopher G.; Haun, Cody T.; Osburn, Shelby C.; Romero, Matthew A.; Roberson, Paul A.; Mumford, Petey W.; Mobley, C. Brooks; Holmes, Hudson M.; Fox, Carlton D.; Young, Kaelin C.; Roberts, Michael D.

Molecular Differences in Skeletal Muscle After 1 Week of Act... : The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (


Numerous studies have evaluated how deloading after resistance training (RT) affects strength and power outcomes. However, the molecular adaptations that occur after deload periods remain understudied. Terms: Active recovery = (AR) and Passive Recovery (PR).


Trained, college-aged men (n = 30) performed 6 weeks of whole-body RT starting at 10 sets of 10 repetitions per exercise per week and finishing at 32 sets of 10 repetitions per exercise per week. After this period, subjects performed either active (AR; n = 16) or passive recovery (PR; n = 14) for 1 week where AR completed ∼15% of the week 6 training volume and PR ceased training.

One week of AR after a high-volume training block instigates marginal molecular differences in skeletal muscle relative to PR. From a practical standpoint, however, both paradigms elicited largely similar responses.


Beginning with 10 sets of 10 repetitions for any exercise is unnecessary in the first place and progressing up to 32 sets of 10 repetitions is way over the top. Following 6 weeks of that massive training volume, one would need a totally passive rest period for one week which was found to be just as beneficial compared to an active recovery (continued training) for one week.

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