The influence of extra load on the mechanical behavior of skeletal muscle

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1984;53(2):149-54. doi: 10.1007/BF00422578.


Eleven international jumpers and throwers engaged in year round training were divided into experimental (n = 6) and control (n = 5) groups. The experimental group was tested before and after a 3 weeks simulated hypergravity period, and again 4 weeks after the hypergravity period. The high gravity condition was created by wearing a vest weighing about 13% of the subjects body weight. The vest was worn from morning to evening including the training sessions, and only removed during sleep. The daily training of all subjects consisted of classical weight training and jumping drills. No changes in the ordinary training program were allowed in the experimental group, except for the use of the vest. Vertical jumps, drop jumps and a 15 s continuous jumping test were used to measure the explosive power characteristics of the subjects. After the hypergravity period the experimental subjects demonstrated significant (5-10%, P less than 0.05-0.01) improvements in most of the variables studied: however, 4 weeks after cessation of the high gravity period they tended to return towards the starting values. No changes were observed in the results of the control group. The improvement observed in the experimental subjects was explained as fast adaptation to the simulated high gravity field. It is suggested that adaptation had occurred both in neuromuscular functions and in metabolic processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Gravitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Exertion*