Purpose. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of load and intensity of effort-matched concentric and eccentric knee extension training on isometric strength. Methods. Unilateral isometric torque was measured using a MedX knee extension after which eleven recreationally trained females performed both concentric-only (CONC) and eccentric-only (ECC) unilateral knee extension exercise once per week for 8 weeks. Participants performed a single set of both CONC and ECC exercise loadmatched at 80% of maximum isometric torque for each condition. All participants exercised to repetition maximum in both CONC and ECC conditions at a pace of ~3 s duration for each muscle action. This ensured that participants exercised to the same intensity of effort for both CONC and ECC training interventions. Results. Analyses revealed significant increases in isometric torque for both CONC (14.8%) and ECC (13.0%) conditions (p < 0.05). Absolute change from pre- to post-intervention was compared for CONC and ECC training conditions revealing no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05). Effect sizes are reported as 0.60 (CONC) and 0.53 (ECC). In addition, analyses revealed significantly greater mean total training volume for ECC compared with CONC conditions (15903 vs. 8091, respectively; p < 0.001). Conclusions. The present findings indicate that, when matched for intensity of effort, both CONC and ECC knee extension exercise can significantly improve strength to the same extent. This supports previous research that load and repetitions are not as important as intensity of effort in resistance exercise.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.