Integrated electromyography (IEMG) and performance outcomes from resistance exercise may be influenced by gender, repetition order, and contractile mode. A novel strength training apparatus employing inertial resistance operates unlike standard exercise equipment and may therefore evoke different IEMG and performance outcomes. Subjects performed 3-set, 10-repetition calf press workouts on an inertial device while IEMG and flywheel velocity were recorded. Dependent variables were examined with 2 (men, women) X 2 (first vs. 10th repetition) X 2 (concentric, eccentric) analyses of variance. Performance outcomes showed gender-by-repetition and gender-by-contractile-mode interactions, with men's 10th-repetition and men's concentric data, respectively, causing these effects. Medial gastrocnemius (MG) IEMG showed a gender-by-repetition interaction resulting from men's first-repetition data. Greater 10th-repetition performance despite higher first-repetition MG IEMG may result from heightened triceps surae elastic energy utilization and/or maintained cross-bridges during transitions from lengthening-to-shortening actions. Inertial strength training may improve performance outcomes without additional motor unit recruitment.
(C) 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association