American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2018, 6(3), 89-98
DOI: 10.12691/ajssm-6-3-5
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Recovery and Adaptation after Weight Training Sessions with Different Number of Sets to Failure

Barouch Giechaskiel1,

1Independent researcher, Thessaloniki, Greece

Pub. Date: September 24, 2018

Cite this paper:
Barouch Giechaskiel. Recovery and Adaptation after Weight Training Sessions with Different Number of Sets to Failure. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2018; 6(3):89-98. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-6-3-5


Increases in strength and muscle mass can be achieved with weight training and adequate recovery (including nutrition and sleep). The time course of recovery and adaptation (super-compensation) for different number of sets has not been adequately investigated in the literature. A 40-year-old well-trained male exercised the chest with (a) 3 sets of bench press, (b) 5 sets of bench press, (c) 5 sets of bench press and 4 sets of dips, all to momentary concentric muscular failure during a 6 months body split program. The recovery was assessed by comparing the number of repetitions of the first bench press set to the previous training session. The results showed that with 3 and 5 sets to failure adaptation (+1 repetition) took place after 5 days. 9 sets needed 7 days for recovery and no adaptation took place. The adaptation was faster when exercising the chest without trainings the back and/or legs, indicating that Selye’s adaptation energy (resources potential) might be applicable to weight training as well. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and motivation (mood) were found to be useful indexes of recovery. Implications on training volume and frequency and how the findings can be applied in practice are discussed.

weight training recovery adaptation progressive overload super-compensation general adaptation syndrome (GAS) fitness-fatigue model training frequency training volume momentary concentric muscular failure

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