Hypertrophy, testosterone, growth hormone, igf 1, muscle activation


The magnitude of improvements in muscular strength and size are influenced by the volume and intensity of a resistance training program. While it is clearly advantageous for resistance-trained individuals to utilize programming specific to these goals, it not clear which is more important. Therefore the purpose of the present investigation was to determine the effect of focusing on training volume versus intensity on changes in muscle size and strength. Changes in muscular strength and size were examined in 29 resistance-trained men following 8 weeks of resistance training. Participants were randomly assigned to either a high volume (VOL, n = 14, 4 x 10 – 12RM, 1min rest) or high intensity (INT, n = 15, 4 x 3 – 5RM, 3min rest) resistance training program. Lean body mass, lean arm and leg mass, were assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, while ultrasound images (VL-vastus lateralis, RF-rectus femoris, PM-pectoralis major, and TB-triceps brachii) were used to assess changes in muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and thickness (MT). Strength was measured by one repetition-maximum (1RM) squat (SQ) and bench press (BP). Changes in muscular (RF & VL) activation in response to increases in submaximal SQ intensity (40-, 60-, 80-, & 100%-1RM) were assessed via surface electromyography. Blood samples were collected at baseline, immediately post, 30min post, and 60min post-exercise at week 3 (WK3) and week 10 (WK10), to assess plasma/serum testosterone, growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1), cortisol (CORT), and insulin. Area under the curve analysis revealed a greater (p < 0.05) increase for VOL (WK3: GH & CORT; WK10: CORT) compared to INT. Compared to WK3, WK10 showed reduced responses for VOL (GH and CORT) and INT (IGF1). Significant group differences were observed for changes in lean arm mass (INT: 5.2 ± 2.9%, VOL: 2.2 5.6%) and BP 1RM (INT: 14.8 ± 9.7%, VOL: 6.9 ± 9.0%). Over the course of 8 weeks, our data indicate that trained men would benefit more when focusing on training intensity, rather than volume, for strength and size improvements.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date





Hoffman, Jay


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Education; Exercise Physiology








Release Date

May 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)