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01.03.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2012

European Journal of Applied Physiology 3/2012

Exercise-induced muscle damage and the repeated bout effect: evidence for cross transfer

European Journal of Applied Physiology > Ausgabe 3/2012
Chelsea Starbuck, Roger G. Eston
Wichtige Hinweise
Communicated by William J. Kraemer.


We examined whether a prior bout of eccentric exercise in the elbow flexors provided protection against exercise-induced muscle damage in the contralateral arm. Fifteen males (age 22.7 ± 2.1 years; height 178.6 ± 6.8 cm, mass 75.8 ± 9.3 kg) were randomly assigned to two groups who performed two bouts of 60 eccentric contractions (30°/s) separated by 2 weeks: ipsilateral (n = 7, both bouts performed in the same arm), contralateral (n = 8, one bout performed in each arm). Strength, muscle soreness and resting arm angle (RAA) were measured at baseline and at 1, 24 and 48 h post exercise. Surface electromyography was recorded during both bouts of exercise. The degree of strength loss was attenuated (p < 0.05) in the ipsilateral group after the second bout of eccentric exercise (−22 cf. −3% for bout 1 and 2 at 24 h, respectively). Strength loss following eccentric exercise was also attenuated (p < 0.05) at 24 h in the contralateral group (−30 cf. 13% for bout 1 and 2, respectively). Muscle soreness (≈34 cf 19 mm) and change in RAA (≈5 cf. 3%) were also lower following the second bout of eccentric exercise (p < 0.05), although there was no difference in the overall change in these values between groups. Median frequency (MF) was decreased by 31% between bouts, with no difference between groups. Data support observations that the repeated bout effect transfers to the opposite (untrained) limb. The similar reduction in MF between bouts for the two groups provides evidence for a centrally mediated, neural adaptation.

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