Overload Physicians Corner

The following information is presented as a quick reference guide for physicians who are interested in reviewing the principles behind the practice of high intensity training as viewed by professional such as yourself:

The list of supporting research we have gathered is only a sample of the supporting research on a particular topic. The link provided is the most recent or a landmark study on the topic. Medical research is often overbearing and complex to decipher. Sometimes a title or conclusion may not match the data obtained from the study. Please read our interpretation in addition to the researcher’s before you draw your own conclusion.

Exercise Volume (Single Set Exercise vs. Multiple Set Exercise)

Starkey, DB., ML Pollock, Y Ishida, MA Welch, WF Brechue, JE Graves, and MS Feigenbaum. Effect of resistance training volume on strength and muscle thickness. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Oct; 28(10): 1311-20, 1996.

This is a landmark study because all training subjects were taken to muscular failure by performing either 1 or 3 sets of exercise.

Both groups improved strength and muscle size significantly. There was no significant difference in the improvements between groups in muscle strength or muscle size. This study shows that one set of high intensity resistance exercise is as effective as three sets for increasing muscle strength and size.

Low Force / Slow Speed

Tanimoto, M and N Ishii. Effects of low-intensity resistance exercise with slow movement and tonic force generation on muscular function in young men. J Appl Physiol. 100: 1150-1157, 2006.

The results of this study shows that moving less resistance slower significantly increases muscles size and a rate equivalent to moving a greater resistance faster. It is important to note that the authors of this study inappropriately equate the low resistance with low intensity and high resistance with high intensity.

Genetic Potential to Respond

Maughhan, RJ. The limits of human athletic performance. Ann Transplant. 10(4): 52-4, 2005.

This review of literature highlights the most important factor in response to exercise, our genetics.

Back Rehabilitation – Surgery prevention/Pain management

Deutsch, FE. Isolated lumbar strengthening in the rehabilitation of chronic low back pain. J. Manipulative Physiol Ther. Feb; 19(2): 124-123, 1996. More

This is a case study of a young female collegiate athlete whose chronic back pain was eliminated after 8 weeks of isolated lumbar strength training on the MEDX lumbar equipment. Eighteen months following treatment, the pain had not returned. Note that had DAVID equipment been used it is logical to conclude that this patient would have had the same success. The designs of the MEDX and DAVID lumbar machines are very similar.

Back Rehabilitation – Post Surgery

Choi, G., PP Raiturker, MJ Kim, DJ Kong, YS Chae, and SH Lee. The effect of early isolated lumbar extension program for patients with herniated disc undergoing lumbar discectomy. Neurosurgery. Oct; 57(4): 764-72, 2005.

The rehabilitation took place on MEDX equipment for twelve weeks beginning at six weeks after surgery. The researcher’s conclusion of this study speaks for itself; “these results support the positive effects of the postoperative early lumbar extension muscle-strengthening program on pain, return to work, and strength of back muscles in patients after operation of herniated lumbar disc.”