Bellevue Personal Training | Never Skip Leg Day: Part One

The question has been asked for years: Can doing a leg workout actually improve upper body strength? A study in 2018 in the Journal of Strength Conditioning and Research explored this question.

Researchers recruited 20 men (already resistance trained) to participate in either HIIT training for upper/lower body (Group #1), or mixed resistance training (high volume for lower body; high intensity for upper body), Group #2.

Group #1 did 4-5 reps of upper/lower body exercises at 88-90% of their 1 Rep Max. Group #2 did 10-12 reps of lower body exercises, at 65-70% of their 1 Rep Max, and additionally did a high-intensity program for the upper body. Of note, participants in the mixed training group became significantly stronger in their bench presses, and also power production, than the group that did high intensity only.

Researchers conclusion: “Results indicated that training programs that focused on lower-body muscle hypertrophy and maximal strength for upper body can stimulate greater strength and power gains in the upper body compared with high-intensity resistance training programs for the body the upper and lower body.”

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