Comparison between old and young men for responses to fast velocity maximal lengthening contractions of the elbow flexors
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- Chapman, D.W., Newton, M., McGuigan, M.R. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2008) 104: 531. doi:10.1007/s00421-008-0806-7
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Controversy exists concerning the susceptibility of elderly individuals to eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. This study investigated the hypothesis that muscle damage induced by fast maximal lengthening contractions would be greater for old than young men. Ten old (64 ± 4 years) and young (25 ± 6 years) men performed 30 maximal voluntary lengthening contractions of the elbow flexors at an angular velocity of 210° s−1. Prior to exercise, no significant differences were evident between groups for criterion measures. A significant (P < 0.05) group × time interaction was found only for isometric strength and muscle soreness with the old group showing significantly slower recovery of strength and less development of soreness compared with the young group. These results did not support the hypothesis that old men would be more susceptible to muscle damage, but confirmed a previous study reporting that recovery of muscle strength was slower for old than young individuals.