Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare changes in muscle damage indicators following 24 maximal eccentric actions of the elbow flexors (Max-ECC) between the arms that had been previously trained either eccentrically or concentrically for 8 wk.
Methods: Fifteen subjects performed three sets of 10 repetitions of eccentric training (ECC-T) with one arm and concentric training (CON-T) with the other arm once a week for 8 wk using a dumbbell representing 50% of maximal isometric force of the elbow flexors (MIF) determined at the elbow joint of 90 degrees (1.57 rad). The dumbbell was lowered from a flexed (50 degrees, 0.87 rad) to an extended elbow position (180 degrees, 3.14 rad) in 3 s for ECC-T, and lifted from the extended to the flexed position in 3 s for CON-T. Max-ECC was performed 4 wk after CON-T and 6 wk after ECC-T. Changes in MIF, range of motion (ROM), upper arm circumference (CIR), muscle soreness (SOR), and plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity were compared between the ECC-T and CON-T arms.
Results: The first ECC-T session produced larger decreases in MIF and ROM, and larger increases in CIR and SOR compared with CON-T. CK increased significantly (P < 0.01) and peaked 4 d after the first training session, but did not increase in the following sessions. All measures changed significantly (P < 0.01) following Max-ECC; however, the changes were not significantly different between ECC-T and CON-T arms.
Conclusion: These results showed that ECC-T did not mitigate the magnitude of muscle damage more than CON-T, and CON-T did not exacerbate muscle damage.