Acute effects of exercise between sets on upper-body power

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Performing exercise between sets allows for increased workload in a given training session. Prior use of exercises can contribute to muscle activation or mobility which can aid in the performance of the following set. The purpose of this study was to determine the acute effects on upper-body (UB) power when performing different exercise types between sets. Resistance-trained (men: N = 7, age = 24 ± 2.4 years, Ht. = 176 ± 6.1 cm, Wt. = 92.5 ± 18.4 Kg, Body Comp = 18 ± 6.3 % fat; women N = 3, age = 21± 1.2 years, Ht. = 170 ± 5.1 cm, Wt. = 66.5 ± 7.16 Kg, Body Comp = 29 ± 6.0 % fat) volunteers participated in this study. All subjects underwent seven experimental trials and one familiarization trial. Each trial incorporated an exercise that was repeated between four sets of an UB-power test. The effects of six different exercises were tested. A pre-power measurement (PreP) was the first set prior to the start of the exercise and used as a comparison measurement. Exercise performed between sets included: resistance exercise to agonist muscle groups using suspension training (RA), mild stretching exercises to agonist muscle groups (SA), resistance exercise to antagonist muscle groups using suspension training (RAnt), mild stretching exercises to antagonist muscle groups (SAnt), plyometric to agonist muscle groups (PlyoA) and rest as control (C). Treatments were counterbalanced and randomly assigned to participants. There was no significant effect on UB power among treatments performed (p = .080), independent of sets. There was no significant effect on UB power across sets (p = .449), independent of treatment. There was a significant interaction between treatment and sets (p = .038). UB power responded significantly different among treatments and across sets. Mean UB power (MUBP) increased from the first set to the second set for all treatments except control. MUBP for RA and SAnt then decreased on the third set before increasing on the fourth, showing fluctuation in UB power across sets. Over time PlyoA and SA increased until the third set before decreasing on the fourth set demonstrating a ceiling effect, yet effective for early sets. MUBP for RAnt continued to increase across all sets. MUBP remained above C for all treatments for sets two, three and four except RA and the fourth set of SA.

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