Review on the Theory of Training for Muscle Size & Strength

Research Paper Title

The Basics of Training for Muscle Size and Strength: A Brief Review on the Theory.


The periodisation of resistance exercise is often touted as the most effective strategy for optimising muscle size and strength adaptations.

This narrative persists despite a lack of experimental evidence to demonstrate its superiority.

In addition, the general adaptation syndrome, which provides the theoretical framework underlying periodisation, does not appear to provide a strong physiological rationale that periodisation is necessary.

Hans Selye conducted a series of rodent studies which used toxic stressors to facilitate the development of the general adaptation syndrome.

To the researchers knowledge, normal exercise in humans has never been shown to produce a general adaptation syndrome.

They question whether there is any physiological rationale that a periodised training approach would facilitate greater adaptations compared with nonperiodised approaches employing progressive overload.

The purpose of this article is to briefly review currently debated topics within strength and conditioning and provide some practical insight regarding the implications these re-evaluations of the literature may have for resistance exercise and periodisation.

In addition, they provide some suggestions for the continued advancement within the field of strength and conditioning.


Buckner, S.L., Jessee, M.B., Mouser, J.G., Dankel, S.J., Mattocks, K.T., Bell, Z.W., Abe, T. & Loenneke, J.P. (2020) The Basics of Training for Muscle Size and Strength: A Brief Review on the Theory.


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