The effects of athletic training and muscle contractile character on the pressor response to isometric exercise of the human triceps surae

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Abstract

In this study, the influence of athletic training status and the contractile character of the active muscle on the magnitude of the pressor response (PR) to voluntary and electrically evoked isometric plantar flexion was investigated. Subjects were 10 sprint-trained athletes (sprint) (100-m, 200-m and 400-m) [mean (SD) age, 21 (2) years], 14 endurance trained athletes (distance) [22 (2) years] and 8 untrained men (control) [23 (3) years]. Twitch time to peak tension (TPT) in the sprint group [108 (7) ms] was significantly less (P < 0.001) than that of the distance group [124 (10) ms]. During voluntary contraction, the mean change in systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and heart rate (f c) was not significantly different between groups. During electrically evoked contractions, mean changes in SBP, DBP and f c were not significantly different between the sprint, distance and control groups. However, division of the sprint group into 400-m (sprint I) and 100/200-m athletes (sprint II) showed that an increase in DBP of 1.6 kPa (12 mmHg) in sprint I was significantly less (P < 0.05) than the 2.5 kPa (19 mmHg) increase observed for both the distance and control groups. Prediction of the DBP response from our previously published relationship between TPT and DBP showed close agreement in all subject groups except sprint I; in these subjects the observed DBP response was only 55% of that predicted. Attenuation of the PR in the involuntary experiment suggests that some aspect of sprint training, but not endurance training, modifies the muscle afferent input to the PR in man.

Accepted: 7 April 1999