Reading approach to improve strength: An explorative study

Nicola Lovecchio, Paola Vago, Michele Tornaghi, Claudio Faschilli


Many studies and common practice use different load and recovery time combinations to obtain improvements in strength performance. The cross education and speech neurons theory could lead to new strategies in motor skills learning and in fitness improvement. Thus, the aim of this study was to verify if a process similar to cross education and visual phenomenon (reading approach) could improve the strength performance. The study consisted of three matched samples that followed three different protocols (strength training, mental and reading approach) and a control group. After 12 training sessions the improvements in maximal voluntary handgrip were assessed. On average, the improvement in handgrip performance was 3.02, 2.97, 2.07, 1.16 kg for strength, mental, reading and control sample respectively. Significant differences among groups were found while no differences were found before and after the protocol, as well as for the interaction. The post hoc analysis revealed significant differences between the strength sample (after training value) and the control group (before the training). Mental or reading training resulted in almost similar improvements that are close to strength training gains. Indeed, at least for the initial training session, the reading training was broadly similar to well-know protocol and could be used to provide complementary stimulus.


Mental training; Reading training; Strength; Handgrip


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