Muscle damage responses and adaptations to eccentric-overload resistance exercise in men and women



This study assessed markers of muscle damage and training adaptations to eccentric-overload flywheel resistance exercise (RE) in men and women.


Dynamic strength (1 RM), jump performance, maximal power at different percentages of 1 RM, and muscle mass in three different portions of the thigh were assessed in 16 men and 16 women before and after 6 weeks (15 sessions) of flywheel supine squat RE training. Plasma creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentrations were measured before, 24, 48 and 72 h after the first and the last training session.


After training, increases in 1 RM were somewhat greater (interaction P < 0.001) in men (25 %) than in women (20 %). Squat and drop jump height and power performance at 50, 60, 70 and 80 % of 1 RM increased after training in both sexes (P < 0.05). Power improvement at 80 % of 1 RM was greater (interaction P < 0.02) in men than women. Muscle mass increased ~5 % in both groups (P < 0.05). CK increased in men after the first training session (P < 0.001), whereas the response in women was unaltered. In both sexes, LDH concentration was greater after the first training session compared with basal values (P < 0.05). After the last session, CK and LDH remained at baseline in both groups.


These results suggest that although improvements in maximal strength and power at high loads may be slightly greater for men, eccentric-overload RE training induces comparable and favorable gains in strength, power, and muscle mass in both men and women. Equally important, it appears muscle damage does not interfere with the adaptations triggered by this training paradigm.

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Fig. 1
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Analysis of variance


Creatine kinase


Countermovement jump




Drop jump


Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry




Lactate dehydrogenase


Magnetic resonance imaging


Resistance exercise


Repetition maximum


Standard error of the mean


Squat jump


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This study was partly funded by Consejería de Educación, Junta de Castilla y León, Spain.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalo.

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Communicated by Peter Krustrup.

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Fernandez-Gonzalo, R., Lundberg, T.R., Alvarez-Alvarez, L. et al. Muscle damage responses and adaptations to eccentric-overload resistance exercise in men and women. Eur J Appl Physiol 114, 1075–1084 (2014).

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  • 1 RM
  • Power
  • Muscle hypertrophy
  • CK
  • LDH