Muscle Strength and Damage Following Two Modes of Variable Resistance Training

Saied Jalal Aboodarda, John George, Abdul Halim Mokhtar and Martin Thompson

Purpose: To compare the effect of repeated near maximal contractions by Nautilus Machine (NM) and Elastic Resistance (ER) on indicators of muscle damage including: maximal strength decrement (MVIC), rate of muscle soreness (DOMS), concentration of plasma creatine kinase (CK) and increased high muscle signal on T2 weighted images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Conclusion: In theory, exercise induced muscle soreness, increased levels of plasma CK, increased MRI T2 signal and prolonged strength loss indicate the moderate to intense nature of the training protocol. The similarity of these responses following both the ER and NM exercise training session suggests that both modes of training provide a similar global training stress; despite a considerably lower external force generation during ER. The data in the present study suggest elastic training is a viable mode of resistance exercise that can provide a training stimulus that is significantly greater than that employed in rehabilitation settings. However, the results of the present study point to the need for further research on the effectiveness of the ER device in developing muscle strength and hypertrophy with an extended training program.

IN PLAIN ENGLISH: Muscle tissue adapts due to the creation of high-tension. Obviously, a Nautilus machine can do this because of weight stack/plate resistance that can be increased. An elastic resistance (resistance band/cord) can do this as well, provided the resistance is significant and effort is expended while working against it.