When it comes to physical fitness there's a long-standing debate when it comes to the efficacy of traditional resistance training (TRT) and plyometric jump training (PJT). Both styles of fitness have their gurus and are better suited for different individuals. A recent study looked to see what, if any, disparities there were when it came to improving muscular fitness for inactive young adults.
Strength Training or Plyometric Training Among Inactive Young Adults
It's a regular argument overheard by people who routinely weight train versus those who workout at home, especially now with so many gyms closed and the fear of COVID-19 increasing. On one side you've got your traditional weights and on the other body weight exercises that take advantage our muscles to generate explosive force to launch our bodies off the ground. Traditional weight/resistance training focuses on time under tension, a slow and methodical movement, forcing each muscle fiber to engage to complete the movement.
In the study, published by Dr. Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo et al, in the Open Sports Sciences Journal pitted these two methodologies against each other over a four week period. Participants, both male and female, were sorted into groups at random, consisting of a control group of 11 people, TRT group of 8, and PJT group of 9 participants. The goal was to find out important practical applications that can help improve training and physical fitness.
It should be noted that while the participants of the study were sedentary, they were otherwise healthy individuals. The study's short time frame also does not account for any kind of long term stress-based injuries the body may be subjected to overtime with high impact workouts like PJT.
Baseline and follow-up tests included the assessment of Squat Jump, Countermovement Jump, elastic index, and maximal strength of the knee extensors. The TRT program emphasized slow-speed movements with free weights. The PJT program focused on high-speed jump movements without external loads. Both TRT and PJT sessions were 30-minutes in duration.
Which is More Effective, Traditional Strength Training or Plyometric Training?
The result showed no significant difference, hence it was concluded that in healthy participants who are both physically inactive and sedentary, the routines of Traditional Resistance Training (TRT) and Plyometric Jump Training (PJT) are equally effective in improving the muscular fitness. Is the age-old debate settled? Not definitively, no. The study does show that at least in the short term when an otherwise healthy individual is starting from no exercise both traditional strength training and plyometric jump training have their merits when it comes to muscle fitness.
Do you think the test was long enough? What would you have done differently if this was your research study. Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your favorite fitness gurus.
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