Investigation To Enhance Load Monitoring For Resistance Training Exercises

  • Tom Hull

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMPhil


To optimise design and prescription of resistance training for elite athletes it is desirable to quantify their external training load. Volume load (barbell mass x repetition count) is the most widely used method, and despite its practical feasibility, may not be appropriately related to underlying mechanical principles, and does not account for displacement of body mass.The aim of the study was to develop the scientific basis of commonly utilised resistance training quantification methods and propose a novel method, system mass volume load (SMVL). To address this aim, change in potential energy (ΔPE) was proposed as the mechanical underpinning of volume load and SMVL. The ΔPE of body mass was included in SMVL without the need for direct measurement by deriving a novel variable termed body mass factor.Ten experienced resistance trained males performed 33 repetitions of the back squat and hang clean exercises on separate days with body segment and barbell kinematic data captured using CODA Motion scanners. Variation and systematic bias of barbell displacement, body segment ΔPE and body mass factor were determined between different barbell mass conditions (5 single repetitions at 70, 82 and 92 % of one repetition maximum) and over three sets of six consecutive repetitions (at 82 % of one repetition maximum). The degree of error in estimating the ΔPE of the whole system was also calculated to determine the accuracy of SMVL method.For the back squat, estimation of the ΔPE of the whole system with known barbell displacement created an error of 0 ± 8 J (0.0 ± 0.7 %) and demonstrated an acceptable degree of accuracy. When barbell displacement was assumed constant, as required for the SMVL method, error was recorded as 2.5 ± 3.5 %, representing an acceptable degree of accuracy for some individuals. Consequently, it is recommended to assess an individual’s variation and systematic bias between barbell masses if direct measurements are not going to be routinely taken from the back squat. For the hang clean, strong significant bias in barbell displacement between conditions indicated use of the SMVL method with this exercise was not valid.
Date of Award1 Oct 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SponsorsEnglish Institute of Sport Ltd
SupervisorAki Salo (Supervisor) & Polly McGuigan (Supervisor)

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