Potent protective effect conferred by four bouts of low intensity eccentric exercise

Document Type

Journal Article


American College of Sports Medicine


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences




Chen, T., Chen, H., Lin, M., Wu, C., & Nosaka, K. (2010). Potent protective effect conferred by four bouts of low intensity eccentric exercise. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 42(5), 1004 - 1012. Available here


Purpose: It is known that submaximal eccentric exercise does not confer as strong a protective effect as maximal eccentric exercise. This study tested the hypothesis that four bouts of submaximal eccentric exercise would confer a similar protective effect to one bout maximal eccentric exercise.

Methods: Thirty untrained men were placed into 4 × 40% (40%) or control (CON) groups (n = 15 per group) by matching preexercise maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength (MVC). The 40% group performed 30 eccentric contractions with a load of 40% MVC (40% ECC) every 2 wk for four times followed 2 wk later by 30 maximal eccentric exercise (100% ECC) of the elbow flexors of the nondominant arm. The CON group performed two bouts of the 100% ECC separated by 2 wk. MVC at six angles, optimum angle (OA), concentric isokinetic strength (30°·s-1 and 300°·s-1), range of motion, upper arm circumference, plasma creatine kinase activity and myoglobin concentration, muscle soreness, and echo intensity of B-mode ultrasound images were taken before to 5 d after each exercise.

Results: No significant differences in the changes in any measures were evident between the 100% ECC of the 40% group and the second 100% ECC of the CON group. Changes in all measures except for OA and upper arm circumference after the second to the fourth 40% ECC bouts were significantly smaller than those after the first 40% ECC bout. The changes in the measures after any of the 40% ECC bouts were significantly (P < 0.05) smaller than those after the first 100% ECC bout of the CON group.

Conclusions: These results suggest that repeating submaximal eccentric exercise confers the same magnitude of protective effect as one bout of maximal eccentric exercise against the subsequent maximal eccentric exercise.



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