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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Jul;97(4):443-53. Epub 2006 May 10.

The effect of varying the time of concentric and eccentric muscle actions during resistance training on skeletal muscle adaptations in women.

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Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, E424 Van Vliet Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2H9.


This study investigated the effect of manipulating the time to complete both the concentric (CON) and eccentric (ECC) muscle actions during resistance training on strength, skeletal muscle properties and cortisol in women. Twenty-eight women (mean +/- SE age = 24.3 +/- 1.1 year) with strength training experience completed three training sessions per week for 9 weeks. Two sets of four lower body exercises (leg press, parallel squat, knee extension and knee flexion) were completed using 6-8 RM intensity. The long CON (LC) group performed the CON action for 6 s and the ECC action for 2 s, while the long ECC (LE) group completed the CON and ECC phases for 2 and 6 s, respectively. Both groups experienced significant increases in leg press CON only, ECC only and combined ECC and CON maximal strength (1 RM). Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that both types I and IIA vastus lateralis fibre areas significantly increased following LC training while only type I fibre area increased following LE training. There was a decrease in MHCIId(x) with a concomitant increase in MHCIIa (P < 0.05) in both groups. Twenty-four hour urinary cortisol significantly increased after LC training only. It was concluded that LC resistance training was more effective than LE for increasing both types I and IIA fibre area and cortisol when time under tension and intensity of muscle actions were matched between the two modes of resistance training in young healthy women.

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