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Eur J Radiol. 2010 Mar;73(3):614-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.12.002. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Concentric resistance training increases muscle strength without affecting microcirculation.

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Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.



While the evidence is conclusive regarding the positive effects of endurance training, there is still some controversy regarding the effects of resistance training on muscular capillarity. Thus, the purpose was to assess whether resistance strength training influences resting skeletal muscle microcirculation in vivo.


Thirty-nine middle-aged subjects (15 female, 24 male; mean age, 54+/-9 years) were trained twice a week on an isokinetic system (altogether 16 sessions lasting 50 min, intensity 75% of maximum isokinetic and isometric force of knee flexors and extensors). To evaluate success of training, cross-sectional area (CSA) of the quadriceps femoris muscle and its isokinetic and isometric force were quantified. Muscular capillarization was measured in biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle. In vivo, muscular energy and lipid metabolites were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy and parameters of muscular microcirculation, such as local blood volume, blood flow and velocity, by contrast-enhanced ultrasound analyzing replenishment kinetics.


The significant (P<0.001) increase in CSA (60+/-16 before vs. 64+/-15 cm(2) after training) and in absolute muscle strength (isometric, 146+/-44 vs. 174+/-50 Nm; isokinetic, 151+/-53 vs. 174+/-62 Nm) demonstrated successful training. Neither capillary density ex vivo (351+/-75 vs. 326+/-62) nor ultrasonographic parameters of resting muscle perfusion were significantly different (blood flow, 1.2+/-1.2 vs. 1.1+/-1.1 ml/min/100g; blood flow velocity, 0.49+/-0.44 vs. 0.52+/-0.74 mms(-1)). Also, the intensities of high-energy phosphates phosphocreatine and beta-adenosintriphosphate were not different after training within the skeletal muscle at rest (beta-ATP/phosphocreatine, 0.29+/-0.06 vs. 0.28+/-0.04).


The significant increase in muscle size and strength in response to concentric isokinetic and isometric resistance training occurs without an increase in the in vivo microcirculation of the skeletal muscles at rest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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