Physio Finds: Physiological Responses and Adaptations to Lower Load Resistance Training: Implications for Health and Performance

One woman lifts weights guided by a coach

Resistance training has become an increasingly popular exercise modality that is used to improve strength, gait speed, mobility, and health for patients with diverse health needs. However, there is debate about whether higher or lower load resistance training produces the most benefits. While higher load training tends to be the "standard", there is some new evidence to suggest that lower load resistance training can, in certain conditions, provide similar benefits to higher load training. These findings are encouraging, as they may help to diminish the barriers that patients face when trying to start resistance training, such as low confidence in performing high-load resistance training independently, access to training facilities and equipment, and risks associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The authors conclude that:

“Using lower loads 2–3 times per week with 3–4 sets per exercise, and loads no lower than 30% of 1RM can enhance muscle hypertrophy and strength adaptations. Consequently, implementing lower load resistance training can be a beneficial and viable resistance training method for a wide range of fitness- and health-related goals."

- Taken from the abstract

You can find a full-text copy of the article free at this link. Happy reading!


Physio Finds is a monthly News Update created by PABC’s Knowledge Services Manager Rachael Bradshaw.
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