European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 221–228

Changes in contractile properties of muscle after strength training in man

  • D. Schmidtbleicher
  • G. Haralambie

DOI: 10.1007/BF00423398

Cite this article as:
Schmidtbleicher, D. & Haralambie, G. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. (1981) 46: 221. doi:10.1007/BF00423398


Thirty young male adults matched in two experimental groups (n=12) and a control group (n=6) were investigated before and after an 8-week strength training period. Group A trained with few repetitions and maximal loads, whereas group B had more repetitions with smaller loads. Both groups lifted the same total load during each training period, four times a week. Maximal voluntary strength (MVS) of a shot-put arm movement, muscular excitability and contractile properties (time to peak of contraction with threshold stimuli, half relaxation time) were measured in M. deltoideus and M. triceps brachii, C. longum, for two durations of stimulation. Increases of 14.8% (group A) and 12.2% (group B) in MVS were observed. Muscle excitability significantly increased in all types of training and both muscles. Significant shortening of the contraction time, dependent on the type of training, was observed in both studied muscles. It appears that the strength training in group A involved the fast fibers of both muscles, whereas in group B the training influence was less marked, and affected both fast and slow fiber types.

Key words

Strength trainingMuscle contraction velocityNeuromuscular excitability

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Schmidtbleicher
    • 1
  • G. Haralambie
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Sport und SportwissenschaftAbteilung für Leistungs- und Sportmedizin der UniversitÄt FreiburgFreiburg i. Br.Federal Republic of Germany