European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 7, pp 2653–2661 | Cite as

Effects of set-repetition configuration in eccentric exercise on muscle damage and the repeated bout effect

Original Article


The number of eccentric contractions is a factor affecting the magnitude of muscle damage; however, it is unknown whether set-repetition configurations for the same total number of eccentric contractions affect the muscle damage. The present study investigated whether different set-repetition configurations would result in different force output during eccentric exercise and different magnitude of muscle damage following the first and second exercise bouts. Ten non-resistance-trained men (26.1 ± 4.1 years) performed two bouts of eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors of each arm (4 bouts in total). One arm performed 3 sets of 10 maximal eccentric contractions (3 × 10) and the contralateral arm performed 10 sets of 3 maximal eccentric contractions (10 × 3), and each arm performed 20 sets of 3 maximal eccentric contractions (20 × 3) 4 weeks after the first bout. The order of the exercise (3 × 10, 10 × 3) and the use of arm (dominant, non-dominant) were counterbalanced amongst subjects. The torque produced over 30 eccentric contractions was similar between 3 × 10 and 10 × 3, and the changes in torque during 20 × 3 were similar between arms. Maximal voluntary contraction strength, range of motion, biceps brachii cross-sectional area and muscle soreness changed significantly (P < 0.05) following the exercise without significant differences between 3 × 10 and 10 × 3, and changes in the measures following 20 × 3 were similar between arms, except for range of motion (ROM). No significant difference in the changes in any measures except ROM was evident when compared between the first and second bouts. These results showed that changing the set-repetition configuration had little effect on muscle damage.


Elbow flexors Cross-sectional area Maximal voluntary contraction strength Creatine kinase Muscle soreness Ultrasound Extended field of view 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Exercise and Health SciencesEdith Cowan University JoondalupJoondalupAustralia

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