Improving muscle strength and size: The importance of training volume, intensity, and status

Gerald T. Mangine, Jay R. Hoffman, David H. Fukuda, Jeffrey R. Stout, Nicholas A. Ratamess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Increases in muscle size and strength are influenced by the mechanical and metabolic stresses imposed by resistance training. Mechanical stress is induced by the use of high-intensity training and it is believed it activates a larger percentage of muscle fibers. Conversely, metabolic stress is generated by high training volumes with moderate intensities using short rest intervals. This training paradigm results in greater fatigue and potentially stimulates a greater anabolic hormone response to exercise. Although evidence exists for both strategies, it still remains inconclusive whether one training paradigm is more advantageous than the other regarding muscle hypertrophy development. In untrained adults, the novelty of most resistance training programs may be sufficient to promote hypertrophy and strength gains, whereas greater training intensity may be more beneficial for trained adults. However, the body of well-designed research in this advanced population is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this brief review is to discuss the merits and limitations of the current evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocrine response
  • Hypertrophy
  • Resistance exercise


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