Purpose: Power training plays an essential part in many sport disciplines. The importance of eccentric power training remains a matter of controversial discussion. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate the difference in metabolic reaction between eccentric and concentric stress in comparable work.
Methods: Sixty-four men between 22 and 60 yr of age performed maximum isokinetic 1-min endurance tests of the knee and ankle each in concentric (180 degrees.s-1) and eccentric (60 degrees.s-1) modes with comparable total area of contraction-time curve (NS). Higher strength values (mean peak torque, P < 0.01), lower fatigue (fatigue index, P < 0.001), lower increase in lactate (P < 0.01), and lower ammonia production (P < 0.01) were found in eccentric than in concentric exercise, independent of the joint. The eccentric form of stress showed lower decrease and thus age-dependence in maximum strength and in fatigue than the concentric form.
Results: The results permit the conclusion that eccentric exercise leads to less fatigue and lower lactate and ammonia reaction than concentric exercise in comparable work levels. Variable visco-elastic properties of the muscle fibers themselves with additive passive strength in eccentric mode is considered as the cause.
Conclusions: It remains uncertain whether the lower metabolic stress might be useful during the training process. A greater scope of training and increased number of training stimuli might be applied in primarily eccentric forms of exercise.