The effectiveness of techniques for enhancing the strength gains in a weight-lifting program
The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of (a) a behavioral approach consisting of goal-setting, self-monitoring, and the use of positive reinforcement (in the form of verbal praise and lotteries), (b) a cognitive approach consisting of self-arousal techniques and positive self-efficacy statements, and (c) a combination of these two approaches in enhancing adherence and strength gains in a weight-lifting exercise program. Participants were 37 male volunteers age 17 and older, with a mean age of 35.08 years (SD = 10.63 years). Only those who reported not having participated in a regular, comprehensive weight-lifting program within the 3 months prior to volunteering were included. Each subject was randomly assigned to one of three groups. All subjects were scheduled to participate in 28 weight-lifting exercise sessions, with sessions held three times per week. After an initial no-treatment, weight-lifting only phase, subjects in each of the three groups were presented with the behavioral and cognitive techniques at different times during the program. Within-subjects analyses were used. The behavioral techniques were found to enhance leg press, but not bench press performance over no-treatment levels. The cognitive techniques were not found to enhance bench or leg press performance over no-treatment levels. The combination of the cognitive and behavioral techniques was found to enhance both bench and leg press performance over no-treatment levels. There was some evidence that the combination of the behavioral and cognitive techniques was more effective in enhancing strength performance than were the cognitive techniques only, but there was no evidence that the combination was more effective in enhancing strength performance than were the behavioral techniques only. A ceiling effect for strength may have limited the number of significant findings. There was no evidence that any of the techniques led to fewer absences from exercise sessions. It did not appear that a greater number of absences coincided with poorer strength performance. Hence, even highly motivated subjects likely did not consider strict adherence to the three-times-per-week exercise schedule to have been necessary. Future research may profitably employ a between-subjects design.
Brone, Ronald Joseph, "The effectiveness of techniques for enhancing the strength gains in a weight-lifting program" (1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9416661.