PainSci summary of Graves 1988?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
Graves et al studied 50 men and women accustomed to strength training and tested them on 12 weeks of reduced training frequency, going from 2 or 3 days per week to 0, 1 or 2 days per week. Those reduced to zero lost strength as expected (about 70% over the 12 weeks), but for those who merely reduced their frequency? No loss at all: “Strength values for subjects who reduced training to 2 and 1 days/week were not significantly different … . These data suggest that muscular strength can be maintained for up to 12 weeks with reduced training frequency.”
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
Twenty-four men and 26 women (25±5 years) participating in 10 weeks (n = 27) and 18 weeks (n = 23) of variable resistance strength training programs were recruited to complete 12 weeks of reduced training. Training consisted of one set of 7-10 bilateral knee extensions performed to volitional failure. Prior to the reduced training phase of the project, the subjects were training either 2 days·week-1 (n = 23) or 3 days·week-1 (n = 18). The subjects who trained 3 days·week-1 reduced training frequency to 2 days·week-1 (n = 9), 1 day·week-1 (n = 7), or 0 days·week-1 (n = 2). The subjects who trained 2 days·week-1 reduced training frequency to 1 day·week-1 (n = 12) or 0 days·week-1 (n = 11). Nine subjects served as controls and did not train. Isometric knee extension strength was assessed at 9, 20, 35, 50, 65, 80, 95, and 110 degrees of knee flexion on two separate occasions prior to and immediately post-training and following reduced training. After training, mean relative increases in peak isometric knee extension strength and dynamic training weight were 21.4%±17.5% (P < 0.01) and 49.5%±14.7% (P < 0.01), respectively. The subjects who stopped training (0 days·week-1) lost 68% (P < 0.01) of the isometric strength gained during training. Strength values for subjects who reduced training to 2 and 1 days·week-1 were not significantly different (P> 0.05) from post-training strength values. These data suggest that muscular strength can be maintained for up to 12 weeks with reduced training frequency.
These two articles on PainScience.com cite Graves 1988 as a source:
- PS Why Massage Makes You Tingle — The physiology of sensation when you’re being pressed and moved around
- PS Strength Training Frequency — Less is more than enough: go to the gym less frequently but still gain strength fast enough for anyone but a bodybuilder
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.