Recovery patterns in electroencephalographic global field power during maximal isometric force production

Courtenay Dunn-Lewis, Shawn D Flanagan, Brett A Comstock, Carl M Maresh, Jeff S Volek, Craig R Denegar, Brian R Kupchak, William J Kraemer
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2011, 25 (10): 2818-27
In previous work, cortical activity decreased with fatigue following novel movements or small muscle group actions. These muscle actions, however, do not appear related to the cortical activity seen with biologically relevant and highly trained movement patterns (i.e., ingrained patterns). The cortical recovery response to ingrained patterns-and how it differs with altered load, speed, or volume - is unknown. The purpose of this balanced, within-group study was to investigate differences in cortical activity 24 hours after physically distinct variations of a highly trained squat exercise (n = 7, minimum 4 years resistance training experience). Four resistance protocols were chosen: rate of force development (PWR, 6 × 3 squat jumps at 30% of 1 repetition maximum [1RM]); magnitude of force development (FOR, 6 × 3 squat at 95% of 1RM); volume of force development (VOL, 6 × 10 squat at 80% of their 1RM); and control (CTRL, 6 sets unracking an empty bar). Twenty-four hours later, subjects performed a peak isometric squat while electroencephalographic and biochemical markers of exertion and fatigue were obtained. Global field power detected the quantity of activity superficial to motor regions. Waveforms of activity throughout the isometric squats were obtained and grand averages calculated to produce quantitative depictions of cortical activity. Significance was P ≤ 0.05. Peak isometric squat force was not statistically different 24 hours postexercise (Force [N]: PWR: 2828.79 ± 461.17; FOR: 2887.64 ± 453.09; VOL: 2910.17 ± 625.81; CTRL 2768.53 ± 374.85). Subjects produced similar and characteristic cortical activity patterns during isometric squats despite varying indices of fatigue. Differences were observed based upon the use or nonuse of aerobic endurance exercise in their training program. Patterns of activity in data seem to have emerged based on differences in training preference. Global Field Power (uV) during the isometric squat for PWR was 26.98 ± 14.64; FOR 24.06 ± 19.05; VOL 23.05 ± 13.37; and CTRL 15.78 ± 8.11. Previous research suggests that cortical activity decreases with physical activity; however, despite substantial endocrine, perceptual, and biomechanical differences between protocols, cortical activity was not decreased below control during the performance of a maximal isometric squat 24 hours after various exercise protocols.

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