An expert exercise physiology research group from the University of Birmingham plan to guide participants through a 10-week leg resistance training programme in order to observe the importance of rest-interval duration on muscle growth. The team will be led by Dan Craig and Lloyd Cheesman, masters students aspiring for a career in research science. Under the supervision of Dr Leigh Breen with access to world-class research laboratory facilities, this is a unique opportunity to train with expert dietary and training advice.


In resistance training the weight lifted and the repetitions completed can be altered in order to maximise muscle growth. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that short-moderate rests (30-90s) between sets is ideal for increasing concentrations of ‘anabolic’, muscle building, hormones, with the assumption that these ‘growth’ hormones drive the muscle building response. However, others contest the role that these ‘growth’ hormones play in muscle building. Muscle building is extremely important to many athletes, and so evidence to support long or short rest intervals for optimal muscle growth is needed. Therefore, the aim of this research is to gain a greater understanding of how rest interval length influences the long-term muscle building response to resistance training. The findings from this study will be published in scientific journals and presented at international conferences with the aim of changing the way athletes across the world train to maximise muscle mass gains with resistance training.


Dr Leigh Breen and his team are recruiting young males with some experience of resistance training to take part in the 10 week training programme. “We are looking for enthusiastic males, between 18 and 35 years old who are interested in building their leg muscles” says Dr Breen. Each participant will undergo 10 weeks (2 sessions per week) of leg training. Tests will be conducted before and after the 10 week training period to determine how the leg muscles have adapted to the training. These tests will include a body composition scan (fat and muscle), a test of leg strength, blood testing and muscle biopsy sampling.


All training sessions will be run by qualified strength and conditioning individuals with new, state of the art, equipment, specialised for the laboratory setting. “We have the privilege to have access to cutting-edge biomedical technology, such as the DXA scanner (Dual X-ray), able to give accurate measurements of body fat percentage and muscle mass of every region of the body. We can also look at the architecture of the leg muscles with ultrasound scanning, a fascinating tool which allows the subject to see how their muscle fibres behave and change with training” explains Lloyd.

Are you interested in taking part?

If so contact the team at:      or    07825442162