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18/10/2018 | Etudes Musculation


Load and time under tension do not determine motor unit
activation during resistance exercise performed to volitional
failure in young, healthy men

R.W. Morton   Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. Vol. 43, 2018       S83

We aimed to determine if performing resistance exercise (RE) to volitional
failure with heavier or lighter loads and shorter or longer times
under tension would result in similar motor unit activation.

Ten recreationally
active young men performed three sets of unilateral knee
extension exercise that varied in speed of contraction and load:
80%RM Regular (80R; 1 eccentric: 1 pause: 1 concentric), 80%RM Slow
(80S; 3:1:3), 30%RM Regular (30R; 1:1:1) and 30%RM Slow (30S; 3:1:3).
Peak EMG amplitude increased in every condition but was higher in
the heavy-load conditions during the first and last repetitions of each
set. The integrated EMG signal was higher in the light-load conditions.
Maximum voluntary force decreased between each set in every condition
with no difference between conditions. At rest, type II muscle
fibres had more glycogen than type I fibres with no difference between
type IIA and type IIX fibres. There were no differences in glycogen
depletion between conditions; however, glycogen depletion was
greater in type II than type I fibres and type IIA fibres depleted more
than type IIX fibres.

We conclude that performing RE to volitional
failure results in significant fatigue and motor unit activation that is
similar regardless of load or speed of contraction.

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