This study compared the first and second exercise bouts consisting of electrically evoked isometric contractions for muscle damage profile. Nine healthy men (31 ± 4 years) had two electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) bouts separated by 2 weeks. The knee extensors of one leg were stimulated by biphasic rectangular pulses (75 Hz, 400 μs, on–off ratio 5–15 s) at the knee joint angle of 100° (0°, full extension) to induce 40 isometric contractions, while the current amplitude was increased to maintain maximal force generation. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) torque of the knee extensors at 100°, muscle soreness, pressure pain threshold and plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity were used as indirect markers of muscle damage, and measured before and 1, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h after EMS bout, and the changes over time were compared between bouts. The torque produced during exercise was approximately 30% of MVC, and no significant difference between bouts was evident for the changes in peak and average torque over 40 contractions. MVC decreased significantly (P < 0.05) by 26% immediately and 1 h after both bouts, but the recovery was significantly (P < 0.05) faster after the second bout (100% at 96 h) compared with the first bout (81% at 96 h). Development of muscle soreness and tenderness, and increases in plasma CK activity were significantly (P < 0.05) smaller after the second than the first bout. These results show that changes in muscle damage markers were attenuated in the second EMS bout compared with the initial EMS bout.
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The authors thank the subjects for participating in this study and Mr Mark Muthalib for his help in analyzing the data.
Communicated by Roberto Bottinelli.
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Aldayel, A., Jubeau, M., McGuigan, M.R. et al. Less indication of muscle damage in the second than initial electrical muscle stimulation bout consisting of isometric contractions of the knee extensors. Eur J Appl Physiol 108, 709–717 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-009-1278-0
- Maximal voluntary contraction
- Creatine kinase
- Muscle soreness
- Pressure pain threshold
- Repeated bout effect