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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011 Dec;51(4):560-70.

Muscle strength, resting muscle tone and EMG activation in untrained men: interaction effect of time of day and test order-related confounding factors.

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Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.



This article was designed to study an interaction effect of time of day and test order-related confounding factors on daily variation in maximum muscle strength and power.


Seventeen untrained men were randomized into four groups and measured at four time points (08:00 a.m., 12:00 a.m., 04:00 p.m. and 08:00 p.m.) throughout one or two days. Each groups started at different time of day in a counter-balanced order. Peak force and myoelectrical activity (EMG) of vastus medialis, vastus lateralis and biceps femoris muscles during bilateral isometric leg extension and power output during explosive dynamic leg extension was measured. Computerized muscle tonometer was used to assess resting muscle tone.


Resting muscle tone did not change significantly regardless of time of day or test order. In contrast, time-of-day effect was found in force and EMG during isometric leg extension and in power output; all variables were significantly lower in the morning compared to the individual best performance/highest value achieved at any time point. In addition, the above variables were also affected by test order. Regardless of time of day, isometric force and EMG were typically highest during the first test session, while the dynamic power output gradually improved with test order.


Daily variation in maximum voluntary strength and power performance could be detected despite the test order-related confounding factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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