• Do Neuro-Muscular Adaptations Occur in Endurance-Trained Boys and Men?

      Cohen, Rotem; Mitchell, Cam; Dotan, Raffy; Gabriel, David; Klentrou, Panagiota; Falk, Bareket (2010)
      Most research on the effects of endurance training has focused on endurance training's health-related benefits and metabolic effects in both children and adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the neuromuscular effects of endurance training and to investigate whether they differ in children (9.0-12.9 years) and adults (18.4-35.6 years). Maximal isometric torque, rate of torque development (RTD), rate of muscle activation (Q30), electromechanical delay (EMD), and time to peak torque and peak RTD were determined by isokinetic dynamometry and surface electromyography (EMG) in elbow and knee flexion and extension. The subjects were 12 endurance-trained and 16 untrained boys, and 15 endurance-trained and 20 untrained men. The adults displayed consistently higher peak torque, RTD, and Q30, in both absolute and normalized values, whereas the boys had longer EMD (64.7+/-17.1 vs. 56.6+/-15.4 ms) and time to peak RTD (98.5+/-32.1 vs. 80.4+/-15.0 ms for boys and men, respectively). Q30, normalized for peak EMG amplitude, was the only observed training effect (1.95+/-1.16 vs. 1.10+/-0.67 ms for trained and untrained men, respectively). This effect could not be shown in the boys. The findings show normalized muscle strength and rate of activation to be lower in children compared with adults, regardless of training status. Because the observed higher Q30 values were not matched by corresponding higher performance measures in the trained men, the functional and discriminatory significance of Q30 remains unclear. Endurance training does not appear to affect muscle strength or rate of force development in either men or boys.
    • The electromyographic threshold in boys and men

      Pitt, Brynlynn; Dotan, Raffy; Millar, Jordan; Long, Devon; Tokuno, Craig; O'Brien, Thomas (Springer, 2015-01-15)
      Abstract Background Children have been shown to have higher lactate (LaTh) and ventilatory (VeTh) thresholds than adults, which might be explained by lower levels of type-II motor-unit (MU) recruitment. However, the electromyographic threshold (EMGTh), regarded as indicating the onset of accelerated type-II MU recruitment, has been investigated only in adults. Purpose To compare the relative exercise intensity at which the EMGTh occurs in boys versus men. Methods Participants were 21 men (23.4 ± 4.1 years) and 23 boys (11.1 ± 1.1 years), with similar habitual physical activity and peak oxygen consumption (VO2pk) (49.7 ± 5.5 vs. 50.1 ± 7.4 ml kg−1 min−1, respectively). Ramped cycle ergometry was conducted to volitional exhaustion with surface EMG recorded from the right and left vastus lateralis muscles throughout the test (~10 min). The composite right–left EMG root mean square (EMGRMS) was then calculated per pedal revolution. The EMGTh was then determined as the exercise intensity at the point of least residual sum of squares for any two regression line divisions of the EMGRMS plot. Results EMGTh was detected in 20/21 of the men (95.2 %) and only in 18/23 of the boys (78.3 %). The boys’ EMGTh was significantly higher than the men’s (86.4 ± 9.6 vs. 79.7 ± 10.0 % of peak power output at exhaustion; p < 0.05). The pattern was similar when EMGTh was expressed as percentage of VO2pk. Conclusions The boys’ higher EMGTh suggests delayed and hence lesser utilization of type-II MUs in progressive exercise, compared with men. The boys–men EMGTh differences were of similar magnitude as those shown for LaTh and VeTh, further suggesting a common underlying factor.