Effects of elbow flexor muscle resistance training on strength, endurance and perceived exertion
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Purpose. To verify the effects of resistance training at the electromyographic fatigue threshold (EMGFT) based on one-repetition maximum strength (1RM), heart rate (HR), rate of perceived exertion (PE) and endurance time (EndT). Methods. Nineteen subjects (training group [TG]: n = 10; control group [CG]: n = 9), performed 1-min bicep curl exercises sets at 25%, 30%, 35% and 40% 1RM. Electromyography (biceps brachii and brachiorradialis), HR and PE were registered. Biceps brachii EMGFT was used to create a load index for an eight-week resistance training programme (three sets until exhaustion/session, two sessions/week) for the TG. The CG only attended one session in the first week and another session in the last week of the eight-week training period for EndT measurement. EndT was determined from the number of repetitions of each of the three sets performed in the first and last training sessions. After training, 1RM, EMGFT, EndT, HR and PE at the different bicep curl load intensities were again measured for both groups. Results. Increases in 1RM (5.9%, p < 0.05) and EndT (> 60%, p < 0.001) after training were found. In addition, PE was reduced at all load intensities (p < 0.05), while no changes were found for HR and EMGFT after training. Conclusions. Strength-endurance training based on the EMGFT improved muscular endurance and also, to a lesser extent, muscular strength. Moreover, the reduced levels of physical exertion after training at the same intensity suggest that endurance training exercises may improve comfort while performing strength exercises.