Comparison between multiple sets and half-pyramid resistance exercise bouts for muscle damage profile

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




The present study compared the changes in markers of muscle damage after bouts of resistance exercise employing the Multiple-sets (MS) and Half-pyramid (HP) training systems. Ten healthy men (26.1±6.3 years), who had been involved in regular resistance training, performed MS and HP bouts, 14 days apart, in a randomised, counter-balanced manner. For the MS bout, participants performed three sets of maximum repetitions at 75%-1RM (i.e. 75% of a One Repetition Maximum) for the three exercises, starting with the bench press, followed by pec deck and decline bench press. For the HP bout, the participants performed three sets of maximum repetitions with 67%-1RM, 74%-1RM and 80%-1RM for the first, second and third sets, respectively, for the same three exercise sequences as the MS bout. The total volume of load lifted was equated between both bouts. Muscle soreness, plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity, myoglobin (Mb) and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations were assessed before and for three days after each exercise bout, and the changes over time were compared between MS and HP using two-way repeated measures ANOVA. Muscle soreness developed significantly (P<0.01) after both bouts, but no significant difference was observed between MS and HP. Plasma CK activity and Mb concentration increased significantly (P<0.01) without significant differences between bouts, and CRP concentration did not change significantly after either bout. These results suggest that the muscle damage profile is similar for MS and HP, probably due to the similar total volume of load lifted.




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