October Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

Hi fitness folks! I feel that our research-review service is a must-have for strength coaches, personal trainers, and physical therapists. Each month we receive excellent feedback from subscribers and it’s a steal when you consider how much time and effort is put into it. Below is the list of questions we tackle in our review this month.

Strength & Conditioning

  1. Which is more effective – the Romanian deadlift exercise at increasing lumbar extension strength, or lumbar extension exercise at increasing Romanian deadlift strength?
  2. How does eccentric training increase flexibility in the muscles?
  3. Does resistance training lead to different hypertrophy effects in young versus older men?
  4. How are the neuromuscular and cardiovascular adaptations to strength, endurance and concurrent training different?
  5. What is an effective manner of using mental imagery to improve strength?
  6. How are maximal strength, number of repetitions and total volume affected by static-, ballistic-, and PNF stretching?
  7. When it comes to adaptations in muscular endurance, body composition, maximum strength, and cardiorespiratory endurance, which is better – linear or daily undulating resistance training periodization programs?
  8. Is explosive force production during isometric squats a good predictor of sprinting and jumping performance in rugby union players?
  9. How can the National Football League (NFL) Combine be improved?
  10. Does eccentric exercise increase satellite cell content in both typeI and type II muscle fibers?
  11. Are muscular adaptations similar in response to slow-speed versus traditional resistance-training regimens?


  1. What factors contribute to Usain Bolt’s astounding performance?
  2. How does the relative contribution of the hip, knee and ankle torques change with increasing loads in the lunge exercise?
  3. How can “fascia” be best defined, and what confusions surrounding fascia terminology need to be cleared up?
  4. When side-step distance is increased as in a lateral agility maneuver, which joint moments increase the most – hip abduction, hip extension, knee extension, or plantar flexion?
  5. How tolerant is the lumbar spine to shear forces, and do current estimates of 1,000N for safety limits need to be revised?
  6. How does increasing the degrees of freedom (increasing instability) affect lower body force production?
  7. What is the relationship between muscle architecture and joint performance during concentric muscle contractions?
  8. What is the optimal load for maximizing vertical jump power – less than bodyweight, bodyweight, or more than bodyweight, and does this figure change depending on the type of athlete?
  9. Which types of tendons are associated with the adductor longus, adductor brevis and gracilis?
  10. Who activate their glutes more when they run – men or women?
  11. How does the EMG activity of the various knee muscles change with the direction of ground reaction forces?
  12. How does the intensity of a prior conditioning contraction affect the subsequent involuntary twitch torque and the subsequent maximal voluntary concentric torque (postactivation potentiation)?
  13. What tissue forms with subcutaneous fat to provide a “layer cake” appearance in obese individuals?
  14. How are researchers currently using EMG activity analysis to assess muscle fatigue, and what are the drawbacks of these methods?
  15. How can we calculate the pulling forces during a weighted sled pull? (this was really cool!)
  16. Do electromyography models and joint moment models provide similar results when studying co-contractions during gait?
  17. How do fatigue and contraction intensity affect the EMG activity in muscles?
  18. How are trained jumpers more mechanically efficient compared to untrained jumpers?
  19. Do heavier individuals differ in scapula upward rotation patterns compared to normal individuals?


  1. What is the most common setback that prevents individuals from losing more weight from exercise interventions?
  2. Which portion of the concentric phase is enhanced most during a stretch-shortening cycle movement compared to a concentric-only movement?
  3. Does Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation improve physical performance?
  4. Can heart rate variability be used to detect non-functional overreaching and overtraining in elite athletes?
  5. What is the intra-day and inter-day reliability of heart rate variability measurement?
  6. How do peers and friends influence overweight-obese youths’ physical activity?
  7. Does fatigue cross-over from one leg to another during single-leg cycling in trained cyclists?
  8. How much evidence is there for a short-term, non-genomic effect of testosterone in skeletal muscle?
  9. How does training affect serum immunoglobulin, testosterone and cortisol during concurrent training in elite endurance runners?
  10. Can milk consumed after exercise reduce exercise-induced muscle damage?
  11. What are the effects of high-intensity exercise training on body composition, abdominal fat loss, and cardiorespiratory fitness in middle-aged females?
  12. What hormone responses occur following low-load resistance training with blood flow restriction in older men?

Physical Therapy

  1. Do ankle taping or bracing improve proprioception?
  2. Does shoulder laxity increase the risk of dislocations?
  3. What shoulder adaptations occur in pitchers and position players over the course of a competitive baseball season?
  4. Which is more harmful for healing ligaments – repetitive loading or sustained loading?
  5. Can internal attentional focus cues used to alter movement patterns, change posture, and shift muscle activation patterns immediately lead to pain relief in subjects experiencing low back pain?
  6. What is the most common culprit for ACL injury, and what can be done to help prevent it?

Not interested in these topics? Why not check out our brand new, free hypertrophy resource instead!

8 thoughts on “October Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

  1. David Morales

    Hi Bret,
    Just signed up for your monthly research review & ordered Background. Thank you for all the great content. Don’t know how you do it

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  3. Andy...

    “What factors contribute to Usain Bolt’s astounding performance?”.

    This has to be made into a blog & argued.

      1. Bret Post author

        Hi Shon! Nope; titin explains the “spring” component, but flexibility gains are induced by sarcomerogenesis (increased sarcomeres in series), which is inherent to eccentrics and exercises that stress long muscle lengths.

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