The acute physiological responses to strongman training compared to traditional stength training
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Strongman training has become an increasingly popular modality, but data on physiological responses are limited. This study sought to determine physiological responses to a strongman training session compared to a traditional strength exercises training session. Ten healthy males (23.6+/-7.5 years, 85.8+/-10.3 kg) volunteered in a crossover design where all participants performed a strongman training session (ST), a traditional strength exercise training session (RST), and a resting session within seven days apart. The ST consisted of sled drag, farmers walk, one arm dumbbell clean and press, and tire flip at loads eliciting approximately 30 seconds of near maximal effort per set. The RST consisted of squat, deadlift, bench press and power clean, progressing to 75% of 1RM. Sessions were equated for approximate total set duration. Blood lactate and salivary testosterone were recorded immediately pre and post training sessions. Heart rate, caloric expenditure and substrate utilisation were measured throughout the resting session, both training protocols and for 80 minutes post training sessions. Analyses were conducted to determine differences in physiological responses within and between protocols. No significant changes in testosterone occurred at any time point for either session. Lactate increased significantly immediately post both sessions. Heart rate, caloric expenditure and substrate utilisation were all elevated significantly during ST and RST. Heart rate and fat expenditure were significantly elevated compared to resting in both sessions' recovery periods; calorie and carbohydrate expenditure were not. Compared to RST, ST represents an equivalent physiological stimulus on key parameters indicative of potential training induced adaptive responses. Such adaptations could conceivably include cardiovascular conditioning.
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