The effects of accentuated eccentric loading on strength, muscle hypertrophy, and neural adaptations in trained individuals

Jason P Brandenburg, David Docherty
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2002, 16 (1): 25-32
The purpose of this study was to compare the strength and neuromuscular adaptations for dynamic constant external resistance (DCER) training and dynamic accentuated external resistance (DAER) training (resistance training employing an accentuated load during eccentric actions). Male subjects active in resistance training were assigned to either a DCER training group (n = 10) or a DAER training group (n = 8) for 9 weeks. Subjects in the DCER group performed 4 sets of 10 repetitions with a load of 75% concentric 1 repetition maximum (RM). Subjects in the DAER group performed 3 sets of 10 repetitions with a concentric load of 75% of 1RM and an eccentric load of approximately 120% of concentric 1RM. Three measures reflecting adaptation of elbow flexors and extensors were recorded pretraining and posttraining: concentric 1RM, muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), and specific tension. Strength was assessed at midtraining periods. No significant changes in muscle CSA were observed in either group. Both training groups experienced significant increases in concentric 1RM and specific tension of both the elbow flexors and extensors, but compared with DCER training, DAER training produced significantly greater increases in concentric 1RM of the elbow extensors. These results suggest that, for some exercises, DAER training may be more effective than DCER training in developing strength within a 9-week training phase. However, for trained subjects, neither protocol is effective in eliciting muscle hypertrophy.

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