Efficacy of prior eccentric exercise in attenuating impaired exercise performance after muscle injury in resistance trained men


Previous research has demonstrated that prior exercise may reduce the magnitude of muscle soreness and impaired function (i.e., repeated bout effect [RBE]) observed during subsequent eccentric exercise. Previous investigations have predominantly used research designs that include single-joint exercise performed by untrained individuals. It is unknown how resistance trained individuals respond to novel multi-joint eccentric actions of the upper body and whether prior exercise offers protection. Thirty-one resistance trained men (23.4 ± 3.5 y, 177.2 ± 5.1 cm, 86.4 ± 16.5 kg, mean ± SD) were randomly assigned to repeated bout ([RB] N = 15) or single bout ([CON] N = 16) conditions. Both groups performed 100 eccentric actions of the bench press ([ECC] at 70% concentric 1 repetition maximum) to induce muscle injury. Bilateral maximal isometric force, dynamic exercise performance (e.g., bench press throws), and muscle soreness were measured before, immediately after, and at 24 and 48 hours post-ECC. Total work, percent fatigue, and rating of perceived exertion (ECC) data were collected during ECC. Those assigned to RB condition exhibited less fatigue (9.5 vs. 22.6%) and lower RPE (14.8 vs. 17.1) during ECC. A significant interaction (p < 0.05) was found such that RB individuals experienced less soreness at 24 (6.5 vs. 4.9) and 48 (6.6 vs. 3.9) hours postexercise than the CON condition. No significant group differences (p < 0.05) were found for any measured performance variable. Although soreness, fatigue, and RPE suggest a RBE, this was not found in regards to exercise performance. It appears that in trained men, performing a strenuous high-volume eccentric exercise bout 2 weeks prior to an identical future bout offers no additional amelioration of impaired exercise performance. © 2007 National Strength & Conditioning Association.

Publication Title

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research