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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Mar 15

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12112-7


language: English

What is the traditional method of resistance training: a systematic review

Cleyton S. SANTOS 1 , Julia R. PINTO 1, Robson D. SCOZ 1, Bruno M. ALVES 1, Paulo R. OLIVEIRA 1, Wuber J. SOARES 1, Rubens A. DA SILVA JR 2, Edgar R. VIEIRA 3, Cesar F. AMORIM 1, 2, 3

1 Biomechanics, Motion Analysis and Motor Control Laboratory, Masters and Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo - UNICID, São Paulo, Brazil; 2 Bioner Laboratory, Physical Therapy Department, University du Quebec, Chicutimi, Canada; 3 Human Performance Laboratory, Physical Therapy Department, Florida International University-FIU, Miami, FL, USA


BACKGROUND: Many resistance studies state that they used the traditional method of resistance training in the intervention. However, there is a wide difference on the characteristics of the training protocols used even though they are labeled as “the traditional method”. There is no clear definition and characteristics for the traditional method of resistance training.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the most common definitions and references, and also the main characteristics of the training variables of the studies using the traditional training method for strengthening.
DATABASE: Searches were carried out in Pubmed, Embase, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science.
STUDY SELECTION: We included randomized controlled trials that included a strengthening program using the “traditional method” and that evaluated hypertrophy and/or maximum strength in healthy individuals.
RESULT: The initial search resulted in 26,057 studies, but only 39 studies were eligible and included in this review. The common characteristics of the traditional training protocol were frequency of 3 sessions/week, 3 sets of 9 repetitions, with weight = 75% 1RM. The movement time was 2±1 seconds for the concentric and for the eccentric phases. Resting time between sets was 2±1 minutes. The concepts used to define the method as traditional and the characteristics of the intervention protocols were different. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) was the most cited reference.
CONCLUSIONS: The “traditional method of resistance training” can be defined as: “Three (±1) sets of 9±6 repetitions of concentric and eccentric exercises using an external load of 75±20% of one maximum repetition, completed 3±1 times/week.

KEY WORDS: Traditional resistance training; Resistance training; Advanced training method; Hypertrophy; Maximum strength

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