Author(s): Adams GR, Cheng DC, Haddad F, Baldwin KM
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Abstract Movements generated by muscle contraction generally include periods of muscle shortening and lengthening as well as force development in the absence of external length changes (isometric). However, in the specific case of resistance exercise training, exercises are often intentionally designed to emphasize one of these modes. The purpose of the present study was to objectively evaluate the relative effectiveness of each training mode for inducing compensatory hypertrophy. With the use of a rat model with electrically stimulated (sciatic nerve) contractions, groups of rats completed 10 training sessions in 20 days. Within each training session, the duration of the stimulation was equal across the three modes. Although this protocol provided equivalent durations of duty cycle, the torque integral for the individual contractions varied markedly with training mode such that lengthening > isometric > shortening. The results indicate that the hypertrophy response did not track the torque integral with mass increases of isometric by 14\%, shortening by 12\%, and lengthening by 11\%. All three modes of training resulted in similar increases in total muscle DNA and RNA. Isometric and shortening but not lengthening mode training resulted in increased muscle insulin-like growth factor I mRNA levels. These results indicate that relatively pure movement mode exercises result in similar levels of compensatory hypertrophy that do not necessarily track with the total amount of force generated during each contraction.
This article was published in J Appl Physiol (1985)
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies