Planning resistance training sessions during the competitive season must be done strategically so that players are not too sore or have compromised performance on game day. Resistance training sessions typically fall under one of three categories: strength-based, power-based and hypertrophy-based. Strength-based workouts typically include multiple sets of <5 repetitions with loads >85% of 1RM. Power-based workouts typically include multiple sets of a moderate repetition range with light to moderate loads, emphasizing barbell speed. Hypertrophy-based workouts include multiple sets of 8-12 repetitions with loads between 70-85% of 1RM. Many coaches prefer to include each category of resistance training during the in-season to maintain strength, power and muscle mass. However, recovery patterns from each training type differ and thus may impact when they should be scheduled within the weekly microcycle.
A new study published ahead of print in the Journal of Sports Sciences compared the effects of strength, power and hypertrophy training sessions on session rating of perceived exertion, countermovement jump performance and hormonal responses in 12 trained individuals. All subjects performed each training session in a randomized, cross-over design. Each workout consisted of bench press, back squat, deadlift and barbell row. The strength workout consisted of 3 sets of 3 at 90% of 1RM and 3 minute rest between sets. The power workout consisted of 3 sets of 6 repetitions with 45% of 1RM and 3 minute rest between sets. The hypertrophy workout consisted of 3 sets of 10 repetitions at 70% of 1RM with 1 minute rest between sets. Immediately before, after and again at 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours post-exercise, countermovement jump performance and endocrine markers were evaluated.
The results showed that session rating of perceived exertion for power (~3) was significantly lower than strength (~4.5) while both were significantly lower than hypertrophy (~8.5). Countermovement jump performance returned to baseline fastest in power (12 h), second fastest in strength (24 h) and slowest in hypertrophy (72 h). Testosterone levels were significantly higher immediately post-exercise after hypertrophy training compared to strength and power. Thus, it appears that the greater volume load and reduced rest periods associated with hypertrophy training requires the most physical effort and causes the longest reduction in neuromuscular performance post-training. Coaches should therefore consider planning hypertrophy training furthest from competition time to allow for adequate performance recovery. Power training is likely the best option for scheduling closer to competition time due to the quick recovery time.
Hiscock, D. J., Dawson, B., Clarke, M., & Peeling, P. (2017). Can changes in resistance exercise workload influence internal load, countermovement jump performance and the endocrine response?. Journal of Sports Sciences, 1-7.