Research Study: Schoenfeld 2014

(3 sets of 10 with 90 sec rest) vs (7 sets of 3 with 3 min rest)

Effects of different volume-equated resistance training loading strategies on muscular adaptations in well trained men (Schoenfeld 2014)


Authors: Schoenfeld BJ, Ratamess NA, Peterson MD, Contreras B, Sonmez GT, Alvar BA

Study Setup:
Subjects: 17 resistance-trained males (1.5 years – 10 years) avg 4 years training (lift 3x week)
♦ Originally 20 (2 dropped out of ST group due to injury, 1 from HT for personal reasons)

Group A: Strength-type (ST) (Powerlifting) 7 sets of 3 reps for each exercise 3min rest
Full body routine (1 push, 1 pull, 1 leg exercise each day) M W F

Group B: Hypertrophy-type (HT) (Bodybuilding) 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise 90sec rest
Traditional BB Split (push day, pull day, leg day) MWF

Exercise Selection: 9 total exercises – 3 per session:



(1) Incline Barbell Press        (2) Flat Barbell Press      (3) Hammer Strength Chest Press


(4) Wide Grip lat Pulldown          (5) Close-grip Lat Pulldown          (6) Seated Cable Row


(7) Barbell back Squat               (8) Machine Leg Press               (9) Machine Leg extension

Duration: 3 times a week for 8 weeks

Additional Notes:

  • The men were given 24g whey protein and 1g carb after training (1hr after)
  • It’s possible the way the experiment split lifting up on each day (full body routine vs push/pull/leg day) had an effect on the results



(1) Hypertrophy – Muscle thickness for Biceps in mm (35.3mm before to 39.6mm after for ST; 34.5mm before to 38.7mm after for HT)

(2) Maximal Strength in 1 RM Bench (104.8 kg before to 116.2 kg after for ST; 97.1 kg before to 105.1 kg after for HT)

(3) Maximal Strength in 1 RM Squat (122.7 kg before to 150 kg after for ST; 114.5 kg before to 136.1 kg after for HT)

Adam’s Conclusions:

(1) There is little difference in hypertrophy and strength gains made between the two programs

(2) Shortening your rest time between sets to 90sec or less makes workouts much more practical than rest of 3 minutes +

(3) There is much more risk of injury lifting heavy with short reps with so much volume (2 out of 10 dropped out of the ST group due to injury)

(4) Trained men can increase strength by 8-11% in bench press over an 8-week period with proper programming

(5) Trained men can increase strength by 18-22% in squat over an 8-week period with proper programming

(6) Trained men can increase size of biceps by 12% over an 8-week period with proper programming