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The decrease in electrically evoked force production is delayed by a previous bout of stretch–shortening cycle exercise

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Abstract Aim: 

Unaccustomed physical exercise with a large eccentric component is accompanied by muscle damage and impaired contractile function, especially at low stimulation frequencies. A repeated bout of eccentric exercise results in less damage and improved recovery of contractile function. Here we test the hypotheses that (1) a prior stretch–shortening cycle (SSC) exercise protects against impaired muscle function during a subsequent bout of SSC exercise and (2) the protection during exercise is transient and becomes less effective as the exercise progresses. Methods: 

Healthy untrained men (n = 7) performed SSC exercise consisting of 100 maximal drop jumps at 30 s intervals. The same exercise was repeated 4 weeks later. Peak quadriceps muscle force evoked by electrical stimulation at 15 (P15) and 50 (P50) Hz was measured before exercise, after 10, 25, 50 and 100 jumps as well as 1 and 24 h after exercise. Results: 

P15 and P50 were higher during the initial phase of the repeated bout compared with the first exercise bout, but there was no difference between the bouts at the end of the exercise periods. P15 and P50 were again larger 24 h after the repeated bout. The P15/P50 ratio during exercise was not different between the two bouts, but it was higher after the repeated bout. Conclusion: 

A prior bout of SSC exercise temporarily protects against impaired contractile function during a repeated exercise bout. The protection can again be seen after exercise, but the underlying mechanism then seems to be different.
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Keywords: exercise-induced muscle damage; high stimulation frequencies; low stimulation frequencies; repeated bout effect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Human Motorics Laboratory, Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education, Kaunas, Lithuania 2:  Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiotherapy, Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education, Kaunas, Lithuania 3:  Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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