Stretch–shortening cycle exercise produces acute and prolonged impairments on endurance performance: is the peripheral fatigue a single answer?
This study aimed to verify the acute and prolonged effects of stretch–shortening cycle exercise (SSC) on performance and neuromuscular function following a 4-km cycling time trial (4-km TT).
On separate days, individuals performed a 4-km TT without any previous exercise (CON), immediately (ACUTE) and 48 h after (PROL) SSC protocol (i.e., 100-drop jumps). Neuromuscular function was measured at baseline SSC (baseline), before (pre-TT) and after (post-TT) 4-km TT. Muscle soreness and inflammatory responses also were assessed.
The endurance performance was impaired in both ACUTE (− 2.3 ± 1.8%) and PROL (− 1.8 ± 2.4%) compared with CON. The SSC protocol caused also an acute reduction in neuromuscular function, with a greater decrease in potentiated quadriceps twitch-force (Qtw.pot − 49 ± 16%) and voluntary activation (VA − 6.5 ± 7%) compared for CON and PROL at pre-TT. The neuromuscular function was fully recovered 48 h after SSC protocol. Muscle soreness and IL-10 were elevated only 48 h after SSC protocol. At post-TT, Qtw.pot remained lower in ACUTE (− 52 ± 14%) compared to CON (− 29 ± 7%) and PROL (− 31 ± 16%).
These findings demonstrate that impairment in endurance performance induced by prior SSC protocol was mediated by two distinct mechanisms, where the acute impairment was related to an exacerbated degree of peripheral and central fatigue, and the prolonged impairment was due to elevated perceived muscle soreness.
KeywordsInflammatory response Central fatigue Peripheral fatigue Muscle soreness Self-paced exercise
Stretch–shortening cycle exercise
- 4-km TT
4-km cycling time trial
Peak power output
Root mean square
Rating of perceived exertion
Maximal voluntary contraction force
Quadriceps potentiated twitch-force
Delayed onset muscle soreness
Tumor necrosis factor-α
The authors thank the athletes for their participation in this study. Marcos D. Silva-Cavalcante and Patricia G. Couto are grateful to Coordination of Improvement of Personnel of Superior Level (CAPES) for PhD scholarships. Marcos D. Silva-Cavalcante also is grateful to CAPES for current Post Doctoral Fellowship (PNPD/CAPES). The English text of this paper has been revised by Sidney Pratt, Canadian, MAT (The Johns Hopkins University), RSAdip-TESL (Cambridge University).
Formulation of the idea and designed research by MDSC, RB and AELS; data collection by MDSC, PGC and RAA; data analysis and interpretation by MDSC, RB, AFG, AELS, PGC and RAA; preparation of the manuscript by MDSC, RB, AFG, AELS, PGC and RAA; edition and revision by MDSC, RB, AFG, AELS, PGC and RAA. All authors have read and give final approval of this version of the manuscript for publication.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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