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Resistance training using eccentric overload induces early adaptations in skeletal muscle size
Karolinska Institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3470-5175
2008 (English)In: European Journal of Applied Physiology, ISSN 1439-6319, E-ISSN 1439-6327, Vol. 102, no 3, 271-281 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fifteen healthy men performed a 5-week training program comprising four sets of seven unilateral, coupled concentric-eccentric knee extensions 2-3 times weekly. While eight men were assigned to training using a weight stack (WS) machine, seven men trained using a flywheel (FW) device, which inherently provides variable resistance and allows for eccentric overload. The design of these apparatuses ensured similar knee extensor muscle use and range of motion. Before and after training, maximal isometric force (MVC) was measured in tasks non-specific to the training modes. Volume of all individual quadriceps muscles was determined by magnetic resonance imaging. Performance across the 12 exercise sessions was measured using the inherent features of the devices. Whereas MVC increased (P < 0.05) at all angles measured in FW, such a change was less consistent in WS. There was a marked increase (P < 0.05) in task-specific performance (i.e., load lifted) in WS. Average work showed a non-significant 8.7% increase in FW. Quadriceps muscle volume increased (P < 0.025) in both groups after training. Although the more than twofold greater hypertrophy evident in FW (6.2%) was not statistically greater than that shown in WS (3.0%), all four individual quadriceps muscles of FW showed increased (P < 0.025) volume whereas in WS only m. rectus femoris was increased (P < 0.025). Collectively the results of this study suggest more robust muscular adaptations following flywheel than weight stack resistance exercise supporting the idea that eccentric overload offers a potent stimuli essential to optimize the benefits of resistance exercise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 102, no 3, 271-281 p.
Keyword [en]
Flywheel resistance training, Inertia, Muscle hypertrophy, Strength training, Weight stack
National Category
Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-45792DOI: 10.1007/s00421-007-0583-8ISI: 000251370200003PubMedID: 17926060OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-45792DiVA: diva2:452921
Note
QC 20111102Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Acute and early chronic responses to resistance exercise using flywheel or weights
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Acute and early chronic responses to resistance exercise using flywheel or weights
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Resistance exercise using weights typically offers constant external load during coupled shortening (concentric) and lengthening (eccentric) muscle actions in sets of consecutive repetitions until failure. However, the constant external load and the inherent capability of skeletal muscle to produce greater force in the eccentric compared with the concentric action, would infer that most actions are executed with incomplete motor unit involvement. In contrast, use of the inertia of flywheels to generate resistance allows for maximal voluntary force to be produced throughout the concentric action, and for brief episodes of greater eccentric than concentric loading, i.e. “eccentric overload”. Thus, it was hypothesized that acute flywheel resistance exercise would induce greater motor unit and muscle use, and subsequent fatigue, compared with traditional weight stack/free weight resistance exercise. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that flywheel training would induce more robust neuromuscular adaptations compared with training using weights.

A total of 43 trained and untrained men were investigated in these studies. Knee extensor muscle activation, fatigue response and muscle use were assessed during exercises by recording electromyographic signals and by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Flywheel resistance exercise provoked maximal or near maximal muscle activation from the first repetition, induced robust fatigue, and prompted more substantial motor unit and muscle use than weight stack/free weight resistance exercise in both novice and resistance trained men. Both prior to and following five weeks of unilateral knee extension training, the eccentric muscle activation was greater with flywheel than weight stack training. Furthermore, weight stack training generated greater increases of dynamic strength and neural adaptations, while flywheel training generated more prominent hypertrophy of individual quadriceps muscles and greater improvement of maximal isometric strength.

Hence, due to the preferential metabolic cost of the concentric rather than eccentric actions, the maximal activation through the entire range of the concentric action within each repetition of a set during flywheel resistance exercise probably evoked the marked fatigue, and prompted more substantial muscle use than resistance exercise using weights. Furthermore, while any cause-effect relationship remains to be determined, results of the present study suggest that brief episodes of “eccentric overload” amplify muscular adaptations following concentric-eccentric resistance training.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mittuniversitetet, 2010. 50 p.
Keyword
electromyography, flywheel, magnetic resonance imaging, resistance exercise
National Category
Physiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48477 (URN)
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Supervisors
Note
QC 20111206Available from: 2011-12-07 Created: 2011-11-18 Last updated: 2011-12-07Bibliographically approved

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