The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of short periods of isokinetic resistance training on muscle use and strength. Seven men trained the right quadriceps femoris muscles (QF) 9 d for 2 wk using 10 sets of 5 knee extensions each day. Isometric and isokinetic torques of QF were measured at six angular velocities. Cross-sectional areas (CSA) of QF were determined from axial images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Transverse relaxation time (T2) and activated area of QF, which represented the area greater than the mean resting T2 + ISD in MR[pixels, were calculated at rest and immediately after repetitive isokinetic knee extensions based on T2-weighted MR images. Muscle fiber types, fiber area, and phosphofructokinase (PFK) activities were determined from biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle. No changes were found in CSA of QF, muscle fiber types, fiber area, and PFK activities after the training. Isometric and isokinetic peak torques at 60-240 degrees x s(-1) and relative area of QF activated by knee extensions increased significantly after the training. These results suggest that muscle strength increases after short periods of isokinetic resistance training without muscle hypertrophy would be due to increased muscle contractile activity.