Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

M. Thomas Woodall


The purpose of this study was to determine if individuals, possessing above average strength in the bench press exercise, would improve their 1RM more by using an experimental resistance training program as compared to a program of a more traditional nature.

Seventeen male subjects between the age 18 and 26 years, mean age 21.8 years, who were considered to have an above average strength level in the bench press exercise (a bench press strength to body weight ratio, S/BW, greater than 1.00) participated in this study. The subjects had an average S/BW of 1.17. All the subjects trained three alternate days per week performing the bench press, dumbbell military press, lat pulldown, bicep curl, tricep curl, and leg press exercises for three sets of six repetitions. The eight subjects in the traditional training group (Group T) used a load intensity of their 6RM for all three sets, all three days. The nine subjects in the experimental training group (Group E) used their 6RM on day one (the heavy day) and 75 percent of their 6RM on days two and three (the light days). Prior to the seven week training cycle, the subjects were tested on their 1RM in the bench press exercise and measured on several girths and skin fold sites. After the training period, the subjects were re-tested on their 1RM and measurements to determine a training effect.

Independent t-tests were performed to identify the significant difference (p <.05) between Groups T and E in the changes in 1RM and specific anthropometric measurement, following training. After the seven wee training period, Group E gained significantly more on their 1RM on the bench press test than did Group T. Non-significant changes in the anthropometric measurements were observed. It was concluded that training using the experimental training program can produce greater strength gains for the strong individual than the traditional training program.