Enhancing Muscular Qualities in Untrained Women: Linear versus Undulating Periodization

L.Y. Kok, David Bishop

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    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: This study compared linear (LP) andundulating periodization (UP) on strength changes in untrained women when total workload and average training intensity werematched by the end of training. Methods: Twenty females (20 T 2 yr) were conditioned (3 wk) and assessed for one-repetitionmaximum squat (1RMSQ) and bench press (1RMBP) before being assigned to LP or UP training (9 wk), with training performed at3 dIwkj1. Maximal strength, average power output during squat jumps with countermovement (SQJpwr) and bench press throws(BPTpwr), body mass, limb girth, and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) were assessed at baseline (T1) and after every 3 wk (T2, T3,and T4) to differentiate the efficacy of LP and UP training. Results: Both groups improved significantly (P G 0.05) in 1RMSQ(LP 34.8%, UP 41.2%), 1RMBP (LP 21.8%, UP 28.3%), SQJpwr (LP 10.4%, UP 9.5%), BPTpwr (LP 11.1%, UP 13.8%), arm girth(LP 1.14%, UP 1.73%), and thigh girth (LP 1.58%, UP 1.99%), with no significant difference between them. Muscle CSA for the LPgroup increased significantly at T2 before maintaining similar hypertrophic responses until T4, whereas the UP group recordedsignificant increments from T1 to T2 and T2 to T3, before stabilizing between T3 and T4. Pooled CSA increase was higher thanpreviously found (6.8% at T2, 11.3% at T3, and 11.8% at T4). Conclusions: The comparison of LP and UP training with matchedvolume load and intensity suggests that both programs were equally adept in improving different strength qualities in activebut untrained women. In addition, muscle hypertrophic responses were larger and occurred earlier than previously reported.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1797-1807
    JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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