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Force recovery after eccentric exercise in males and females

Abstract

In this study we investigated force loss and recovery after eccentric exercise, and further characterized profound losses in muscle function (n=192 subjects – 98 males, 94 females; population A). Maximal voluntary contractile force (MVC) was assessed before, immediately after, and at 36 and 132 h after eccentric exercise. Two groups were then established (A1 and A2). Group A1 demonstrated a >70% reduction in MVC immediately after exercise, but were recovering at 132 h after exercise. These subjects performed a follow-up MVC 26 days later (n=32). Group A2 demonstrated a >70% reduction in MVC immediately post-exercise, but still exhibited a >65% reduction in force at 132 h post-exercise; these subjects also performed a follow-up MVC every 7 days until full recovery was established (n=9). In population A, there was a 57% reduction in MVC immediately post-exercise and a 67% recovery by 132 h post-exercise (P < 0.01), with no significant gender differences (P > 0.05). In group A1, although more females (two-thirds) showed large force losses after exercise, these females demonstrated greater %MVC recovery at 132 h post-exercise (59% vs 44%) and at 26 days post-exercise (93% vs 81%) compared to the males. In group A2, MVC recovery occurred between 33 and 47 days post-exercise. In conclusion, 21% of all subjects showed a delayed recovery in MVC after high-force eccentric exercise. Although there were no significant gender differences in force loss, a disproportionately larger number of females demonstrated force reductions of >70%. However, their recovery of force was more rapid than that observed for the males who also demonstrated a >70% force loss.

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Accepted: 2 October 2000

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Sayers, S., Clarkson, P. Force recovery after eccentric exercise in males and females. Eur J Appl Physiol 84, 122–126 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004210000346

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  • Key words Maximal isometric force
  • Strength loss
  • Muscle damage
  • Gender differences