European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 165–173

Neural and muscular changes to detraining after electrostimulation training

  • Julien Gondin
  • Marie Guette
  • Yves Ballay
  • Alain Martin
Original Article

Abstract

We investigated the effects of 4 weeks of detraining subsequent to an 8-week electrostimulation (ES) training program on changes in muscle strength, neural and muscular properties of the knee extensor muscles. Nine male subjects followed the training program consisting of 32 sessions of isometric ES training over an 8-week period. All subjects were tested before and after 8 weeks of ES training, and were then retested after 4 weeks of detraining. Quadriceps muscle anatomical cross-sectional area (ACSA) was assessed by ultrasonography imaging. The electromyographic (EMG) activity and muscle activation (i.e., by means of the twitch interpolation technique) obtained during maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) were used to examine neural adaptations. After training, the knee extensor voluntary torque increased significantly by 26%. Torque gains were accompanied by an increase in vastii EMG activity normalized to respective M-wave (+43%), muscle activation (+6%) and quadriceps ACSA (+6%). After detraining, knee extensor MVC, vastii EMG activity, muscle activation and quadriceps ACSA decreased significantly by 9%, 20%, 5% and 3%, respectively. Also, the knee extensor MVC values remained significantly elevated (14%) above baseline levels at the end of the detraining period and this was associated with a larger quadriceps ACSA (+3%) but not with a higher neural activation. We concluded that the voluntary torque losses observed after detraining could be attributed to both neural and muscular alterations. Muscle size preservation could explain the higher knee extensor MVC values observed after the cessation of training compared to those obtained before training, therefore indicating that muscle size changes are slower than neural drive reduction.

Keywords

Cessation of training Strength Muscle activation EMG activity Muscle cross-sectional area 

References

  1. Allen GM, Gandevia SC, McKenzie DK (1995) Reliability of measurements of muscle strength and voluntary activation using twitch interpolation. Muscle Nerve 18:593–600PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allman BL, Rice CL (2004) An age-related shift in the force–frequency relationship affects quadriceps fatigability in old adults. J Appl Physiol 96:1026–1032PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andersen JL, Aagaard P (2000) Myosin heavy chain IIX overshoot in human skeletal muscle. Muscle Nerve 23:1095–1104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andersen LL, Andersen JL, Magnusson SP, Suetta C, Madsen JL, Christensen LR, Aagaard P (2005) Changes in the human muscle force–velocity relationship in response to resistance training and subsequent detraining. J Appl Physiol 99:87–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Babault N, Pousson M, Ballay Y, Van Hoecke J (2001) Activation of human quadriceps femoris during isometric, concentric, and eccentric contractions. J Appl Physiol 91:2628–2634PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bax L, Staes F, Verhagen A (2005) Does neuromuscular electrical stimulation strengthen the quadriceps femoris?: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Sports Med 35:191–212PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berg HE, Tedner B, Tesch PA (1993) Changes in lower limb muscle cross-sectional area and tissue fluid volume after transition from standing to supine. Acta Physiol Scand 148:379–385PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Blinks JR, Rüdel R, Taylor SR (1978) Calcium transients in isolated amphibian skeletal muscle fibres: detection with aequorin. J Physiol 277:291–323PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bourjeily-Habr G, Rochester CL, Palermo F, Snyder P, Mohsenin V (2002) Randomised controlled trial of transcutaneous electrical muscle stimulation of the lower extremities in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Thorax 57:1045–1049PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Delitto A, Robinson AJ (1989) Electrical stimulation of muscle: techniques and applications. In: Snyder-Mackler L, Robinson AJ (eds) Clinical electrophysiology: electrophysiology and electrophysiological testing. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, pp 95–138Google Scholar
  11. Duchateau J, Hainaut K (1988) Training effects of sub-maximal electrostimulation in a human muscle. Med Sci Sports Exerc 20:99–104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Farina D, Merletti R, Enoka RM (2004) The extraction of neural strategies from the surface EMG. J Appl Physiol 96:1486–1495PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gondin J, Guette M, Ballay Y, Martin A (2005) Electromyostimulation training effects on neural drive and muscle architecture. Med Sci Sports Exerc 37:1291–1299PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hainaut K, Duchateau J (1992) Neuromuscular electrical stimulation and voluntary exercise. Sports Med 14:100–113PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hakkinen K, Komi PV (1983) Electromyographic changes during strength training and detraining. Med Sci Sports Exerc 15:455–460PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Hakkinen K, Alen M, Komi PV (1985) Changes in isometric force- and relaxation-time, electromyographic and muscle fibre characteristics of human skeletal muscle during strength training and detraining. Acta Physiol Scand 125:573–585PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hortobagyi T, Houmard JA, Stevenson JR, Fraser DD, Johns RA, Israel RG (1993) The effects of detraining on power athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 25:929–935PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Kadi F, Schjerling P, Andersen LL, Charifi N, Madsen JL, Christensen LR, Andersen JL (2004) The effects of heavy resistance training and detraining on satellite cells in human skeletal muscles. J Physiol 558:1005–1012PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kern H, Salmons S, Mayr W, Rossini K, Carraro U (2005) Recovery of long-term denervated human muscles induced by electrical stimulation. Muscle Nerve 31:98–101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kraemer WJ, Koziris LP, Ratamess NA, Hakkinen K, NT TR-M, Fry AC, Gordon SE, Volek JS, French DN, Rubin MR, Gomez AL, Sharman MJ, Michael Lynch J, Izquierdo M, Newton RU, Fleck SJ (2002) Detraining produces minimal changes in physical performance and hormonal variables in recreationally strength-trained men. J Strength Cond Res 16:373–382Google Scholar
  21. Maffiuletti NA, Cometti G, Amiridis IG, Martin A, Pousson M, Chatard JC (2000) The effects of electromyostimulation training and basketball practice on muscle strength and jumping ability. Int J Sports Med 21:437–443PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maffiuletti NA, Pensini M, Martin A (2002a) Activation of human plantar flexor muscles increases after electromyostimulation training. J Appl Physiol 92:1383–1392Google Scholar
  23. Maffiuletti NA, Dugnani S, Folz M, Di Pierno E, Mauro F (2002b) Effect of combined electrostimulation and plyometric training on vertical jump height. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34:1638–1644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Malatesta D, Cattaneo F, Dugnani S, Maffiuletti NA (2003) Effects of electromyostimulation training and volleyball practice on jumping ability. J Strength Cond Res 17:573–579PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Marqueste T, Hug F, Decherchi P, Jammes Y (2003) Changes in neuromuscular function after training by functional electrical stimulation. Muscle Nerve 28:181–188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Martin A, Carpentier A, Guissard N, Van Hoecke J, Duchateau J (1999) Effect of time of day on force variation in a human muscle. Muscle Nerve 22:1380–1387PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Martin V, Millet GY, Martin A, Deley G, Lattier G (2004) Assessment of low-frequency fatigue with two methods of electrical stimulation. J Appl Physiol 97:1923–1929PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Merletti R, Rainoldi A, Farina D (2001) Surface electromyography for noninvasive characterization of muscle. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 29:20–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mohr T, Andersen JL, Biering-Sorensen F, Galbo H, Bangsbo J, Wagner A, Kjaer M (1997) Long-term adaptation to electrically induced cycle training in severe spinal cord injured individuals. Spinal Cord 35:1–16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Narici MV, Roi GS, Landoni L, Minetti AE, Cerretelli P (1989) Changes in force, cross-sectional area and neural activation during strength training and detraining of the human quadriceps. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 59:310–319PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Neder JA, Sword D, Ward SA, Mackay E, Cochrane LM, Clark CJ (2002) Home based neuromuscular electrical stimulation as a new rehabilitative strategy for severely disabled patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Thorax 57:333–337PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Quittan M, Wiesinger GF, Sturm B, Puig S, Mayr W, Sochor A, Paternostro T, Resch KL, Pacher R, Fialka-Moser V (2001) Improvement of thigh muscles by neuromuscular electrical stimulation in patients with refractory heart failure: a single-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 80:206–214PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Reeves ND, Maganaris CN, Narici MV (2004a) Ultrasonographic assessment of human skeletal muscle size. Eur J Appl Physiol 91:116–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Reeves ND, Narici MV, Maganaris CN (2004b) Effect of resistance training on skeletal muscle-specific force in elderly humans. J Appl Physiol 96:885–892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shield A, Zhou S (2004) Assessing voluntary muscle activation with the twitch interpolation technique. Sports Med 34:253–267PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Thom JM, Thompson MW, Ruell PA, Bryant GJ, Fonda JS, Harmer AR, De Jonge XA, Hunter SK (2001) Effect of 10-day cast immobilization on sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium regulation in humans. Acta Physiol Scand 172:141–147PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julien Gondin
    • 1
  • Marie Guette
    • 1
  • Yves Ballay
    • 1
  • Alain Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculté des Sciences du SportINSERM/ERM 207 Motricité-Plasticité, UFR STAPSDijon CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations