Markers of Muscle Damage Less During Second Workout

Almost every athlete knows that muscle soreness decreases with successive workouts. Surprisingly, research on this phenomenon has been restricted to untrained people. Brazilian scientists, in a study on strength-trained athletes, found that muscle soreness and markers of inflammation were less during a second workout designed to cause muscle damage. Athletes performed four sets of eight reps of eccentric bench presses (negatives or lengthening contractions). Eccentric exercise creates more muscle tension than concentric (shortening) or isometric contractions, and is linked to muscle cell damage. Muscle soreness and markers of inflammation (creatine kinase and prostaglandin E2) were markedly less during the 96 hours following the second workout. Intense training triggers the formation of protective proteins that make muscles and tendons less susceptible to injury. (Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, 28: 2961-2966, 2014)

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