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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 115, Issue 3, pp 555–563 | Cite as

Once-weekly muscle endurance and strength training prevents deterioration of muscle oxidative function and attenuates the degree of strength decline during 3-week forearm immobilization

  • Toshiyuki Homma
  • Takafumi HamaokaEmail author
  • Takuya Osada
  • Norio Murase
  • Ryotaro Kime
  • Yuko Kurosawa
  • Shiro Ichimura
  • Kazuki Esaki
  • Fumiko Nakamura
  • Toshihito Katsumura
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Muscle unloading causes muscle function deterioration, but the extent to which training frequency or volume can be reduced while preserving muscle function during muscle unloading is unknown. We examined the effects of low-volume muscle endurance and strength training on forearm muscle oxidative capacity, endurance, and strength during a 3-week immobilization.

Methods

Twenty-seven, healthy, male volunteers were divided into four groups: immobilization only (IMM); immobilization with endurance and strength training, once-weekly (IMM + EST1) or twice-weekly (IMM + EST2); and control, without immobilization or training (CNT). Endurance training involved dynamic handgrip exercise, at 30 % of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), until exhaustion (~60 s). Strength training involved intermittent isometric handgrip exercise at 70 % MVC (40 s). Muscle oxidative capacity was evaluated after exercise using the phosphocreatine recovery time constant using 31phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Endurance performance was evaluated according to the total work during dynamic handgrip exercise at 30 % MVC at 1 Hz until exhaustion.

Results

Muscle oxidative capacity and total work deterioration was restricted to the IMM (P < 0.05) group. MVC decreased in the IMM and IMM + EST1 (P < 0.05) groups. However, the MVC amplitude decrease in the IMM + EST1 group was smaller than that in the IMM (P < 0.05) group. MVC remained unchanged in the other groups.

Conclusion

During the 3-week immobilization, twice-weekly low-volume muscle endurance and strength training prevented deterioration in muscle strength, oxidative capacity, and endurance performance. Moreover, once-weekly muscle endurance and strength training prevented the deterioration of muscle oxidative capacity and endurance performance, and attenuated the degree of muscle strength decline.

Keywords

Countermeasure Endurance and strength training Muscle oxidative capacity Muscle strength Muscle unloading 31Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

CNT

Control, without immobilization or training group

CSA

Cross-sectional area

FID

Free induction decay

IMM

Immobilization-only group

IMM + EST1

Immobilization with endurance and strength training, performed once-weekly group

IMM + EST2

Immobilization with endurance and strength training, performed twice-weekly group

Pi

Inorganic phosphate

\(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}}\)

Maximal oxygen uptake

MVC

Maximal voluntary contraction

τoffPCr

Muscle phosphocreatine recovery time constant after exercise

PCr

Phosphocreatine

31P-MRS

31Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the volunteers who participated in this study. We also thank the entire staff of Tokyo Medical University’s Department of Sports Medicine for Health Promotion for their helpful advice and technical assistance. This work was supported, in part, by the National Space Development Agency of Japan and a grant-in-aid from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiyuki Homma
    • 1
  • Takafumi Hamaoka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takuya Osada
    • 2
  • Norio Murase
    • 2
  • Ryotaro Kime
    • 2
  • Yuko Kurosawa
    • 1
  • Shiro Ichimura
    • 3
  • Kazuki Esaki
    • 4
  • Fumiko Nakamura
    • 5
  • Toshihito Katsumura
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Sport and Health ScienceRitsumeikan UniversityKusatsuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Sports Medicine for Health PromotionTokyo Medical UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of Science and TechnologyTokyo University of ScienceChibaJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of EconomicsTokuyama UniversityYamaguchiJapan
  5. 5.Faculty of Human DevelopmentKokugakuin UniversityYokohamaJapan

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