Effects of a 6-week periodized squat training with or without whole-body vibration upon short-term adaptations in squat strength and body composition

Hugh S Lamont, Joel T Cramer, Debra A Bemben, Randa L Shehab, Mark A Anderson, Michael G Bemben
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2011, 25 (7): 1839-48
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 6-week, periodized squat training program, with or without whole-body low-frequency vibration (WBLFV), applied before and between sets to 1RM squat strength and body composition. Thirty men aged between 20 and 30 years with at least 6 months of recreational weight training experience completed the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to either 1 of 2 training groups or to an active control group (CON). Group 1 (CON; n = 6) did not participate in the training protocol but participated only in testing sessions. Group 2 (SQTV, n = 13) performed 6 weeks of squat training while receiving WBLFV (50 Hz), before, and in-between sets. The third group (SQT, n = 11) performed 6 weeks of squat training only. Subjects completed 12 workouts with variable loads (55-90% one repetition maximum [1RM]) and sets (), performing squats twice weekly separated by 72 hours. The RM measures were recorded on weeks (W) 1, 3, and 7. During the second workout of a week, the load was reduced by 10-15%, with "speed squats" performed during the final 3 weeks. Rest periods in between sets were set at 240 seconds. The WBLFV was applied while subjects stood on a WBLFV platform holding an isometric quarter squat position (knee angle 135 ± 5°). Initially, WBLFV was applied at 50 Hz for 30 seconds at low amplitude (peak-peak 2-4 mm). A rest period of 180 seconds followed WBLFV exposure before the first set of squats. The WBLFV was then applied intermittently (3 × 10 seconds) at 50 Hz, high amplitude (peak-peak, 4-6 mm) at time points, 60, 120, and 180 seconds into the 240-second rest period. Total body dual x-ray absorptiometry scans were performed at W0 (week before training) and W7 (week after training). Measures recorded included total body mass (kg), total body lean mass (TLBM, kg), trunk lean mass (kg), leg lean mass (kg), total body fat percentage, trunk fat percentage, and leg fat percentage (LF%). Repeated-measures analysis of variance and analysis of covariance revealed 1RM increased significantly between W1-W3, W3-W7, and W1-W7 for both experimental groups but not for control (p = 0.001, effect size [ES] = 0.237, 1 - β = 0.947). No significant differences were seen for %Δ (p > 0.05). Significant group by trial and group effects were seen for TLBM, SQTV > CON at W7 (p = 0.044). A significant main effect for time was seen for LF%, W0 vs. W7 (p = 0.047). No other significant differences were seen (p > 0.05). "Practical trends" were seen favoring "short-term" neuromuscular adaptations for the SQTV group during the first 3 weeks (p = 0.10, ES = 0.157, 1 - β = 0.443, mean diff; SQTV week 3 4.72 kg > CON and 2.53 kg > SQT). Differences in motor unit activation patterns, hypertrophic responses, and dietary intake during the training period could account for the trends seen.

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