The Effects of Strength Training Set Configurations for Improving Muscular Strength in Collegiate Baseball Players

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Dr. Maureen Dunn, Hope College

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This study compared the effect of three different strength training set configurations on 1-RM bench press, leg press, and leg curl strength. Fifteen Division III collegiate baseball players were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 weight training protocols: single-set to failure (SSF), 3 sets not to failure (NF), and 3 clustered sets not to failure (CNF). All subjects performed the same strength training exercises 3 days per week for 6 weeks emphasizing the major muscle groups. A double-progressive overload system was implemented to allow for muscular adaptation. 1-RM pre-tests and post-tests were compared before and after 6 weeks of training and showed no significant differences [p = 0.155 (BP), p = 0.147 (LP), p = 0.158 (LC)] between groups. Overall strength gains; however, were observed in all groups for all muscles studied over time (p < 0.0001). Results suggest that the 3 clustered sets not to failure (CNF) protocol may produce greater strength gains in a short-term training program. Further research is necessary to substantiate this claim.

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