Time under tension and blood lactate response during four different resistance training methods

J Physiol Anthropol. 2006 Sep;25(5):339-44. doi: 10.2114/jpa2.25.339.


Mechanical stimuli have often been suggested to be the major determinant of resistance training adaptations; however, some studies suggested that metabolic changes also play an important role in the gains of muscle size and strength. Several resistance training methods (RTM) have been employed with the purpose of manipulating mechanical and metabolic stimuli; however, information about their physiological effects are scarce. The objective of this study was to compare the time under tension (TUT) and blood lactate responses among four different RTM reported in the literature. The four RTM were performed in a knee extension machine at 10 repetition maximum (RM) load by 12 recreationally trained young men. The RTM tested were: 10RM, super-slow (SL-subjects performed one 60-second repetition with 30 seconds for eccentric and 30 seconds for concentric phase), functional isometrics (FI-in each repetition, a five-second maximal isometric contraction was executed with the knees fully extended) and adapted vascular occlusion (VO-subjects performed a 20-second maximal isometric contraction with the knees fully extended and immediately proceeded to normal isoinertial lifts). According to the results, all RTM produced significant increases in blood lactate levels. However, blood lactate responses during FI (4.48+/-1.57 mM) and VO (4.23+/-1.66 mM) methods were higher than the SL method (3.41+/-1.14 mM). The TUT for SL (60 s), FI (56.33+/-6.46 s), and VO (53.08+/-4.76 s) methods were higher than TUT for 10RM (42.08+/-3.18 s). Additionally, TUT for the SL method was higher than TUT during the VO method. Therefore, the SL method may not be recommended if one wants to provide a high metabolic stimulus. The FI method appeared to be especially effective in promoting both type of stimuli.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology*
  • Lactic Acid / blood*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*


  • Lactic Acid