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Similar hormonal responses to concentric and eccentric muscle actions using relative loading

Robert R Kraemer, Daniel B Hollander, Greg V Reeves, Michelle Francois, Zaid G Ramadan, Bonnie Meeker, James L Tryniecki, E P Hebert, V Daniel Castracane
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2006, 96 (5): 551-7
16369814
Conventional resistance exercise is performed using sequential concentric (CON) and eccentric (ECC) contractions, utilizing the same muscle load. Thus, relative to maximal CON and ECC resistance, the ECC contraction is loaded to a lesser degree. We have recently shown that at the same absolute load, CON contractions are associated with greater growth hormone (GH) but similar total testosterone (TT) and free testosterone (FT) responses compared with ECC contractions and attributed the larger GH response to greater relative CON loading. In the present study, we have examined the same endocrine parameters to six different upper and lower body exercises using relative loading rather than absolute loading, hypothesizing that GH responses would be similar for CON and ECC actions, but TT and FT responses would be greater after ECC contractions. Seven young men with recreational weight training experience completed an ECC and CON muscle contraction trial on two different occasions in a counterbalanced fashion. The exercises consisted of four sets of 10 repetitions of lat pull-down, leg press, bench press, leg extension, military press, and leg curl exercises at 65% of an ECC or CON 1-RM with 90 s between sets and exercises. CON and ECC actions were performed at the same speed. ECC 1-RMs were considered to be 120% of the CON 1-RM for the same exercise. Blood samples were collected before, immediately after, and 15 min after the exercise. GH significantly increased across both trials but was not different between the two trials. Total testosterone was not significantly altered in response to either trial; however, free testosterone concentrations increased in response to both ECC and CON trials. Data suggest that CON and ECC muscle contractions produce similar GH, T, and free testosterone responses with the same relative loading.

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