Author(s): Hortobgyi T, Barrier J, Beard D, Braspennincx J, Koens P,
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to compare the short-term strength and neural adaptations to eccentric and concentric training at equal force levels. Forty-two sedentary women (age = 21.5 yr) were ranked based on the initial quadriceps strength score, and trios of subjects were randomly assigned to either an eccentric (n = 14), a concentric (n = 14), or a nonexercising control group (n = 14). Training involved a total of 824 eccentric or concentric quadriceps actions at 1.05 rad.s-1 administered in four sets of 6-10 repetitions, four times per week for 6 wk. Before and after training, all subjects were tested for unilateral maximal isometric and eccentric and concentric actions at 1.05 rad.s-1 and for a 40-repetition eccentric and concentric fatigue series of the left and right quadriceps. Surface electromyographic activity of the vastus lateralis and medialis was monitored during testing. Concentric training increased concentric (36\%, P < 0.05), isometric (18\%, P < 0.05), and eccentric strength (13\%), and eccentric training increased eccentric (42\%, P < 0.05), isometric (30\%, P < 0.05), and concentric (13\%) strength. Eccentric training improved eccentric and isometric strength more (P < 0.05) than did concentric training. The electromyographic adaptations were greater with eccentric training. Cross-education was 6\%, and neither training mode modified fatigability. The data suggest that training of the quadriceps muscle with submaximal eccentric actions brings about greater strength adaptations faster than does training with maximal-level concentric actions in women. This greater adaptation is likely to be mediated by both mechanical and neural factors.
This article was published in J Appl Physiol (1985)
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies