|Authors||Arazi, H., Salek, L., Nikfal, E., Izadi, M., Tufano, J.J., Elliott, B. and Brughelli, M.|
BACKGROUND:Variable resistance has been shown to induce greater total work and muscle activation when compared to constant resistance. However, little is known regarding the effects of chronic exposure to variable resistance training in comparison with constant resistance training. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine the effects of chain-loaded variable and constant gravity-dependent resistance training on resting hormonal and neuromuscular adaptations. METHODS:Young women were randomly assigned to variable resistance training (VRT; n = 12; age, 23.75 ± 3.64 years; and BMI, 26.80 ± 4.21 kg m-2), constant resistance training (CRT; n = 12; age, 23.58 ± 3.84 years; BMI, 25.25 ± 3.84 kg m-2), or control (Con; n = 12; age, 23.50 ± 2.93 years; BMI, 27.12 ± 12 kg m-2) groups. CRT performed 8-week total-body free-weight training three times per week with moderate-to-high intensity (65-80% 1RM; periodized). VRT was the same as CRT but included variable resistance via chains (15% of total load). Resting serum samples were taken before and after the 8-week intervention for GH, IGF-1, cortisol, myostatin, and follistatin analyses. RESULTS:Both VRT and CRT groups displayed moderate-to-large significant increases in GH (197.1%; ES = 0.78 vs. 229.9%; ES = 1.55), IGF-1 (82.3%; ES = 1.87 vs. 66%; ES = 1.66), and follistatin (58.8%; ES = 0.80 vs. 49.15%; ES = 0.80) and decreases in cortisol (- 19.9%; ES = - 1.34 vs. - 17.1%; ES = - 1.05) and myostatin (- 26.9%; ES = - 0.78 vs. - 23.2%; ES = - 0.82). Also, VRT and CRT resulted in large significant increases in bench press (30.54%; ES = 1.45 vs. 25.08%; ES = 1.12) and squat (30.63%; ES = 1.28 vs. 24.81%; ES = 1.21) strength, with no differences between groups. CONCLUSIONS:Implementing chain-loaded VRT into a periodized resistance training program can be an effective alternative to constant loading during free-weight RT among untrained young women.