The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of unilateral, isometric training of the forearm flexors on strength and the mechanomyographic (MMG) and electromyographic (EMG) responses of the biceps brachii in the trained and untrained limb at three joint angles. Seventeen adult females (mean age +/- SD = 21 +/- 2 years) were randomly assigned to a control (CTL; N=7) or a training (TRN; N=10) group. The TRN group performed isometric training of the non-dominant forearm flexors on a Cybex II Dynamometer at a joint angle such that the Cybex lever arm was positioned 60[degrees] above the horizontal plane. The training consisted of 3 to 5 sets of 8, 6-second repetitions at 80% of maximal voluntary contraction 3 times per week for 8 weeks. The results indicated a significant increase in flexed arm circumference as well as isometric strength in the trained limb at all three joint angles. There were, however, no changes in MMG or EMG amplitude in the trained or untrained limb and no cross-training effect for strength or flexed arm circumference. These findings suggested that the increased strength may have been due to factors associated with hypertrophy, independent of neural adaptations in the biceps brachii. Furthermore, hypertrophy may have had counteractive effects on the MMG signal that could be responsible for the lack of a training-induced change in the MMG amplitude.
(C) 2002 National Strength and Conditioning Association