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Short Recovery Augments Magnitude of Muscle Damage in High Responders


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: July 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 7 - p 1370-1374
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181ca7e16
Applied Sciences

Purpose: To examine serum creatine kinase (CK) activity after resistance exercise bouts with different rest intervals between sets and exercises in high responding (HR) and normal responding (NR) subjects.

Methods: During each resistance exercise bout, three sets with 10-repetition maximum (10RM) loads were completed for the chest press, cable pulldown, biceps curl, triceps extension, leg extension, and prone leg curl. Each bout differed in the length of the rest interval between sets and exercises, specifically either 1 or 3 min. After blood analysis, subjects were separated into NR or HR on the basis of the peak serum CK activity being in the 90th percentile.

Results: The volume completed (load × sets × repetitions) was significantly greater for the 3-min bout versus the 1-min bout, with no significant differences between the HR and the NR groups. For the NR group, serum CK was significantly elevated from 24 to 72 h after each bout, with no significant differences between bouts. Conversely, for the HR group, the 1-min bout resulted in serum CK activity levels that were approximately 70% greater than the 3-min bout at the 48- and 72-h time points.

Conclusions: The key finding from the current study was that the HR group experienced significantly greater CK responses when using shorter rest intervals between sets. Conversely, for the NR group, CK responses were not significantly different between bouts. These findings may have implications for resistance exercise prescription in that some individuals might be less tolerant of shorter rest intervals between sets with greater skeletal muscle microtrauma.

1Laboratory of Physiology and Biokinetic, Faculty of Biological Sciences and Health, Universidade Iguaçu Campus V at Itaperuna, Itaperuna, Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; and 2Kinesiology and Sports Studies Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL

Address for correspondence: Marco Machado, M.Sc., Laboratório de Fisiologia e Biocinética (UNIG - Campus V), Curso de Educação Física, Universidade Iguaçu, BR 356 - Km 02, Itaperuna, Rio de Janeiro, CEP 28.300-000, Brazil; E-mail:

Submitted for publication October 2009.

Accepted for publication November 2009.

©2010The American College of Sports Medicine