European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 6, pp 1183–1195 | Cite as

Eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage of pre-adolescent and adolescent boys in comparison to young men

  • Trevor C. Chen
  • Hsin-Lian Chen
  • Yi-Chuen Liu
  • Kazunori Nosaka
Original Article



This study compared changes in indirect muscle damage markers after maximal eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors (EF) among pre-adolescent (9–10 years), adolescent (14–15 years) and post-adolescent (20–25 years) men to test the hypothesis that the magnitude of muscle damage would increase with increase in age.


Thirteen untrained men of each age group performed two bouts (ECC1, ECC2) of 30 maximal EF eccentric contractions. Several indirect muscle damage markers were measured from the exercised arm before, immediately after, and 1–5 days post-exercise. Changes in maximal voluntary concentric contraction torque of the EF (MVC), range of motion of the elbow joint, upper arm circumference (CIR), muscle passive stiffness, muscle soreness, plasma creatine kinase activity and myoglobin concentration after ECC1 and ECC2 were compared amongst groups by a mixed-design two-way ANOVA.


MVC before exercise was smaller (P < 0.05) for pre-adolescent (8.9 ± 1.9 Nm) than adolescent (25.1 ± 3.9 Nm) and adult (35.3 ± 4.6 Nm), and for adolescent than adult. Changes in all variables after ECC1 were smaller (P < 0.05) for pre-adolescent and adolescent when compared with adult, and all except CIR changes were smaller (P < 0.05) for pre-adolescent than adolescent. After ECC2, changes in all variables were smaller (P < 0.05) than those after ECC1 for all groups, but the magnitude of the changes was different among groups (P < 0.05) in the same way as that after ECC1.


These results indicate that the magnitude of muscle damage is increased from pre-adolescent, adolescent to post-adolescent men.


Elbow flexors Puberty Lengthening contraction Maximal voluntary contraction Delayed onset muscle soreness Repeated bout effect 



Analysis of variance


The area under the curve


Body mass index


Upper arm circumference


Creatine kinase


Coefficient of variation


Delayed onset muscle soreness


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


The first bout of maximal eccentric exercise


The second bout of maximal eccentric exercise




Muscle passive stiffness


Maximal voluntary contraction


Maximal voluntary isokinetic concentric contraction torque of the elbow extensors


Maximal voluntary isokinetic concentric contraction torque of the elbow flexors


Peak torque angle


An intraclass correlation coefficient


Repetition maximum


Range of motion


Muscle soreness


Visual analogue scale


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trevor C. Chen
    • 1
  • Hsin-Lian Chen
    • 2
  • Yi-Chuen Liu
    • 3
  • Kazunori Nosaka
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Physical EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Physical Education, Health and RecreationNational Chiayi UniversityChiayi CountyTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Sports and Recreation ManagementChang Lung Christian UniversityTainanTaiwan
  4. 4.School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Centre for Exercise and Sports Science ResearchEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia

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