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Motor unit recruitment cannot be inferred from surface EMG amplitude and basic reporting standards must be adhered to

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The study by Jenkins et al. attempted to elucidate the mechanisms behind the findings of Mitchell et al. (J Appl Physiol 113(1):71–77, 2012). However, we believe the work of Jenkins et al. contains methodological issues, does not meet electromyographic reporting standards, and deduces conclusions beyond which can be interpreted from the data provided.

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Integrated electromyography


Mean power frequency


Motor unit


  • Bouissou P, Estrade PY, Goubel F, Guezennec CY, Serrurier B (1989) Surface EMG power spectrum and intramuscular pH in human vastus lateralis muscle during dynamic exercise. J Appl Physiol 67(3):1245–1249

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  • Mitchell CJ, Churchward-Venne TA, West DW, Burd NA, Breen L, Baker SK, Phillips SM (2012) Resistance exercise load does not determine training-mediated hypertrophic gains in young men. J Appl Physiol 113(1):71–77. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00307.2012

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Correspondence to Andrew D. Vigotsky.

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Communicated by Klaas R. Westerterp/Håkan Westerblad.

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Vigotsky, A.D., Ogborn, D. & Phillips, S.M. Motor unit recruitment cannot be inferred from surface EMG amplitude and basic reporting standards must be adhered to. Eur J Appl Physiol 116, 657–658 (2016).

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