Guidelines for improving maximal concentric strength through resistance training (RT) have traditionally included large muscle-group exercises, full ranges of motion, and a load approximating 85% of the 1-repetition maximum (1RM). Supramaximal eccentric training (SME; controlled lowering of loads above the concentric 1RM) has also been shown to be effective at increasing concentric 1RM in the lower body, but concerns regarding injury risk, postexercise soreness, and null benefit over traditional methods (TRAD) may limit the practical utility of this approach. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether SME elicits greater lower-body strength improvements than TRAD. Method: Key inclusion criteria were regular exercise modalities typical of nonspecialized exercise facilities (e.g., leg press; key exclusion: isokinetic dynamometer) and at least 6 weeks of RT exposure, leading to 5 studies included in the current meta-analysis. Unbiased effect-size measures that quantify the mean difference in lower-body 1RM between SME and TRAD were extracted. Results: Supramaximal eccentric training did not appear to be more effective than TRAD at increasing lower-body 1RM ((Formula presented.) = .33, SE = .26, z = 1.26, 95% CI [–0.20, 0.79], p = .20, I2 = 56.78%) under a random-effects model where between-study variance was estimated using maximum likelihood estimation ((Formula presented.) 2 = .25). Conclusion: The selection of SME over TRAD in RT programs designed to increase lower-body 1RM does not appear warranted in all populations. Further research should clarify the merit of periodic SME in TRAD-dominant RT programs as well as whether a differential effect exists in trained individuals.
- Resistance training
- sport performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation