Mike Furci explains this fitness tidbit in his latest “Did you know . . ” column.
Fernando J. Naclerio and fellow researchers performed a study using 14 firefighters to determine the importance of strength and power on a muscular endurance test. The physical test the firefighters were to perform for a job entry requirement was a maximum repetition test on the flat barbell bench press with 40 kg in 40 seconds.
The subjects performed a progressive test of eight sets of two to three repetitions during the first part of the study. The first and second sets were performed using a low load of 25 percent to 45 percent. The first set was always performed with a lower load than the second, which was performed using 40 kg. As subsequent sets were performed, the load was increased. The third and fourth sets were performed with a moderate load of 50 percent to 65 percent of their one-rep maximum (1 RM); the firth and sixth sets were performed with 70 percent to 80 percent of 1 RM; the seventh and eighth sets were performed with 85 percent to 100 percent of 1 RM.
To prevent fatigue from being a factor, the second part of the study (which was the max rep test) was performed 72 hours after the first part. Researchers found the 1 RM to have the greatest degree of influence in the firefighter’s performance on the 40 kg max rep bench press test. Interestingly, the degree of power produced in the progressive test using 40 kg had no correlation with the subject’s ability in the max rep test.(J Strength Cond Res.2009;23(5):1482-1488)
We’ll be writing more about this, but don’t wait until the holidays are over to start working out. Imagine how much better you’ll feel over the holidays if you’ve already started (or improved) your fitness and health program. Sure, you’ll be drinking and eating more than usual if you’re like most people, but at least you won’t regress too far.