Strength training without schedule? Then no muscle growth
The low budget fitness centers are mushrooming. That's nice, but one downside of those centers is that visitors without experience are often left to their fate, and have to figure things out for themselves. English exercise scientists, affiliated with the University of Coventry, have shown in an experimental study what happens when you give people access to a fitness center, but do not provide them with a proper training schedule.
The researchers recruited 310 subjects [average age: 43] and then divided them into 4 groups.
During the 48 weeks that the experiment lasted 1 group did nothing at all. That was the control group.
A third group of test subjects got access to a fitness center, but then had to figure out for themselves what to do there.
The fourth group also got access to a fitness center, and received a training schedule. This consisted of a number of basic multi-joint exercises for the largest muscle groups, such as chest press, dip, overhead press, pulldown, seated-row and leg-press. The schedule was periodized.
The subjects who trained according to a schedule built up fat-free mass, but the subjects who trained without a schedule did not. It was striking that the subjects who did not get access to the facilities of the fitness center, but got information about nutrition and exercise did gain some lean body mass.
Only in the subjects who trained according to a schedule, the fat percentage dropped substantially.
As far as the increase in strength is concerned, it increased in both groups that gained access to the fitness center.
The researchers' conclusion is obvious. "Resistance training could be more effective when structured and / or supervised by an exercise professional", they write.
BMC Public Health. 2018 Mar 27;18(1):420.
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