Maximal force production per unit of muscle mass (muscle quality, or MQ) has been used to describe the relative contribution of non-muscle-mass components to the changes in strength with age and strength training (ST). To compare the influence of age and gender on MQ response to ST and detraining, 11 young men (20-30 years), nine young women (20-30 years), 11 older men (65-75 years), and 11 older women (65-75 years), were assessed for quadriceps MQ at baseline, after 9 weeks of ST, and after 31 weeks of detraining. MQ was calculated by dividing quadriceps one repetition maximum (IRM) strength by quadriceps muscle volume determined by magnetic resonance imaging. All groups demonstrated significant increases in IRM strength and muscle volume after training (all p < .05). All groups also increased their MQ with training (all p < .01), but the gain in MQ was significantly greater in young women than in the other three groups (p < .05). After 31 weeks of detraining, MQ values remained significantly elevated above baseline levels in all groups (p < .05), except the older women. These results indicate that factors other than muscle mass contribute to strength gains with ST in young and older men and women, but those other factors may account for a higher portion of the strength gains in young women. These factors continue to maintain strength levels above baseline for up to 31 weeks after cessation of training in young men and women, and in older men.
"To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the effects of volume on MQ of elderly women during short-term ST. The mechanisms responsible for training induced improvements in MQ are still unclear; however, neural adaptations (changes in motor unit recruitment, firing frequency, and summation of motor unit action potential synchronization) as well as enhancement of contractile properties may offer substantial support for the observed increases (Ivey et al. 2000; Tracy et al. 1999). The current results reinforce our previous findings that short-term ST is an effective method to improve MQ of elderly women (Pinto et al. 2014). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The strength training has been shown to be effective for attenuating the age-related physiological decline. However, the adequate volume of strength training volume adequate to promote improvements, mainly during the initial period of training, still remains controversial. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a short-term strength training program with single or multiple sets in elderly women. Maximal dynamic (1-RM) and isometric strength, muscle activation, muscle thickness (MT), and muscle quality (MQ = 1-RM and MT quadriceps quotient) of the knee extensors were assessed. Subjects were randomly assigned into one of two groups: single set (SS; n = 14) that performed one set per exercise or multiple sets (MS; n = 13) that performed three-sets per exercise, twice weekly for 6 weeks. Following training, there were significant increases (p ≤ 0.05) in knee extension 1-RM (16.1 ± 12 % for SS group and 21.7 ± 7.7 % for MS group), in all MT (p ≤ 0.05; vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius), and in MQ (p ≤ 0.05); 15.0 ± 12.2 % for SS group and 12.6 ± 7.2 % for MS group), with no differences between groups. These results suggest that during the initial stages of strength training, single- and multiple-set training demonstrate similar capacity for increasing dynamic strength, MT, and MQ of the knee extensors in elderly women.
Age 12/2014; 36(6):9720. DOI:10.1007/s11357-014-9720-6 · 3.45 Impact Factor
"Our results are in agreement with that of a previous study, which demonstrated that relative dynamic strength following training for HI remained increased above pre-training level after detraining (Ivey et al., 2000). Previous studies (Hakkinen et al., 2000; Kubo et al., 2010) reported that the muscle strength remained preserved in task-specific exercises during detraining. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of 3 weeks of detraining on muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and one-repetition maximum strength (1-RM) in young men who had previously participated in 6 weeks (3 days week−1) of bench press training [blood flow restricted low-intensity (LI-BFR; n = 10, 20% 1-RM) or high-intensity (HI; n = 7, 75% 1-RM)]. Bench press 1-RM and muscle CSA of triceps brachii (TB) and pectoralis major (PM) were evaluated before (pre) and after training period (post) as well as after detraining period (detraining). Bench press 1-RM was higher at both post and detraining than at pre for LI-BFR (P<0·01) and the HI (P<0·01). TB and PM muscle CSA were higher at both post and detraining than at pre for the HI group (P<0·01), while the LI-BFR group only increased (P<0·01) at post. Relative dynamic strength (1-RM divided by TB muscle CSA) was higher at both post and detraining than at pre for the HI group (P<0·01), while the LI-BFR group only increased (P<0·01) at detraining. In conclusion, increased muscle strength following 6 weeks of training with LI-BFR as well as HI was well preserved at 3 weeks of detraining. HI-induced muscle strength appears to be dependent upon both neural adaptations and muscle hypertrophy with training and detraining. On the other hand, LI-BFR-induced muscle strength appears to be related primarily to muscle hypertrophy with training and to neural adaptations with detraining.
"For some muscle groups and tasks, a greater initial strength is associated with increased fatigability, indicating the involvement of a strength-related mechanism (Maughan et al. 1986, West et al. 1995, Hunter & Enoka 2001, Hunter et al. 2004a, 2006a,b, Avin et al. 2010). Men are usually stronger than women because they have a larger skeletal muscle mass (Miller et al. 1993, Lindle et al. 1997, Ivey et al. 2000, Welle et al. 2008). The relative sex difference in muscle mass and strength is greater for some muscle groups than others , such as the elbow flexor muscles and finger flexors compared with the knee extensor and dorsiflexor muscles (Miller et al. 1993, Russ & Kent-Braun 2003, Hunter et al. 2006b, Senefeld et al. 2013). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sex-related differences in physiology and anatomy are responsible for profound differences in neuromuscular performance and fatigability between men and women. Women are usually less fatigable than men for similar intensity isometric fatiguing contractions. This sex difference in fatigability, however, is task specific because different neuromuscular sites will be stressed when the requirements of the task are altered, and the stress on these sites can differ for men and women. Task variables that can alter the sex difference in fatigue include the type, intensity and speed of contraction, the muscle group assessed, and the environmental conditions. Physiological mechanisms that are responsible for sex-based differences in fatigability may include activation of the motor neuron pool from cortical and subcortical regions, synaptic inputs to the motor neuron pool via activation of metabolically-sensitive small afferent fibres in the muscle, muscle perfusion, and skeletal muscle metabolism and fibre type properties. Non-physiological factors such as the sex bias of studying more males than females in human and animal experiments can also mask a true understanding of the magnitude and mechanisms of sex-based differences in physiology and fatigability. Despite recent developments, there is a tremendous lack of understanding of sex differences in neuromuscular function and fatigability, the prevailing mechanisms and the functional consequences. This review emphasises the need to understand sex-based differences in fatigability in order to shed light on the benefits and limitations that fatigability can exert for men and women during daily tasks, exercise performance, training and rehabilitation in both health and disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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