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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Nov;114(11):2263-80. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-2951-5. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

Early-phase musculoskeletal adaptations to different levels of eccentric resistance after 8 weeks of lower body training.

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JES Tech, LLC, 16870 Royal Crest Dr., Houston, TX, 77058, USA,



Eccentric muscle actions are important to the development of muscle mass and strength and may affect bone mineral density (BMD). This study's purpose was to determine the relative effectiveness of five different eccentric:concentric load ratios to increase musculoskeletal parameters during early adaptations to resistance training.


Forty male subjects performed a supine leg press and calf press training program 3 days week(-1) for 8 weeks. Subjects were matched for pre-training leg press 1-repetition maximum strength (1-RM) and randomly assigned to one of five training groups. Concentric training load (% 1-RM) was constant across groups, but within groups, eccentric load was 0, 33, 66, 100, or 138% of concentric load. Muscle mass (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; DXA), strength (1-RM), and BMD (DXA) were measured pre- and post-training. Markers of bone metabolism were assessed pre-, mid- and post-training.


The increase in leg press 1-RM in the 138% group (20 ± 4%) was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than the 0% (8 ± 3%), 33% (8 ± 5%) and 66% (8 ± 4%) groups, but not the 100% group (13 ± 6 %; P = 0.15). All groups, except the 0% group, increased calf press 1-RM (P < 0.05). Leg lean mass and greater trochanter BMD were increased only in the 138% group (P < 0.05).


Early-phase adaptations to eccentric overload training include increases in muscle mass and site-specific increases in BMD and muscle strength which are not present or are less with traditional and eccentric underload training. Eccentric overload provides a robust musculoskeletal stimulus that may benefit bedridden patients, individuals recovering from injury or illness, and astronauts during spaceflight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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