Title

Combining higher-load and lower-load resistance training exercises: A systematic review and meta-analysis of findings from complex training studies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

ISSN

1878-1861

Volume

22

Issue

7

First Page

838

Last Page

851

PubMed ID

30683485

Publisher

Elsevier Ltd

School

Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research

Comments

Bauer, P., Uebellacker, F., Mitter, B., Aigner, A. J., Hasenoehrl, T., Ristl, R., ... & Seitz, L. B. (2019). Combining higher-load and lower-load resistance training exercises: A systematic review and meta-analysis of findings from complex training studies. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22(7), 838-851. Available here

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of the present meta-analytical review was to determine the effectiveness of training programmes combining higher-load and lower-load exercises in one workout (i.e. complex training [CT]) on lower-body performance.

Design

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods

A search of five electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, SportDiscus, CINAHL and Scopus) was conducted to identify all publications up to 7 March 2018. Meta-analyses were performed using a random-effects model with the dependent variables countermovement jump (CMJ) height, squat jump (SJ) height, one-repetition maximum (1-RM) squat performance and sprint time for 5 m, 10 m, 20 m, 30 m and 40 m, respectively.

Results

The analysis comprised 33 studies and a total of 1064 healthy participants. The meta-analysis revealed that CT is effective in improving CMJ (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.6%–12.3%), SJ (95% CI 8.0%–17.4%), 1-RM squat (95% CI 16.4%–30.7%) and sprint performance (5 m = 95% CI −14.8% to −0.9%, 10 m = 95% CI −6.0% to −2.1%, 20 m = 95% CI −7.4% to −1.4%, 30 m = 95% CI −8.0% to −0.6%). However, when directly compared to traditional training methods, only 1-RM squat strength performance and 20 m sprint time were superior following CT interventions (95% CI 0.2%–13.7% and 95% CI −1.6% to −0.1%, respectively)

Conclusions

CT is an acceptable method for improving jump, strength and sprint performance in athletes. Compared to traditional training methods, CT seems to produce superior training effects only for 1-RM squat and 20 m sprint performance; however, these findings were influenced by single studies and should be therefore interpreted with circumspection.

DOI

10.1016/j.jsams.2019.01.006

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