Influence of eccentric actions on skeletal muscle adaptations to resistance training

Acta Physiol Scand. 1991 Oct;143(2):177-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.1991.tb09219.x.


Three different training regimens were performed to study the influence of eccentric muscle actions on skeletal muscle adaptive responses to heavy resistance exercise. Middle-aged males performed the leg press and leg extension exercises two days each week. The resistance was selected to induce failure within six to twelve repetitions of each set. Group CON/ECC (n = 8) performed coupled concentric and eccentric actions while group CON (n = 8) used concentric actions only. They did four or five sets of each exercise. Group CON/CON (n = 10) performed twice as many sets with only concentric actions. Eight subjects did not train and served as controls. Tissue samples were obtained from m. vastus lateralis using the biopsy technique before and after 19 weeks of training, and after four weeks of detraining. Histochemical analyses were performed to assess fibre type composition, fibre area and capillarization. Training increased (P less than 0.05) Type IIA and decreased (P less than 0.05) Type IIB fibre percentage. Only group CON/ECC increased Type I area (14%, P less than 0.05). Type II area increased (P less than 0.05) 32 and 27%, respectively, in groups CON/ECC and CON/CON, but not in group CON. Mean fibre area increased (P less than 0.05) 25 and 20% in groups CON/ECC and CON/CON, respectively. Capillaries per fibre increased (P less than 0.05) equally for Type I and Type II fibres. Capillaries per fibre area for both fibre types, however, increased (P less than 0.05) only in groups CON and CON/CON. The changes in fibre type composition and capillary frequency were manifest after detraining.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / chemistry
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Myofibrils / chemistry
  • Myofibrils / ultrastructure
  • Periodic Acid-Schiff Reaction
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Thigh


  • Adenosine Triphosphatases