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Muscle Morphological and Strength Adaptations to Endurance Vs. Resistance Training

Farup, Jean; Kjølhede, Tue; Sørensen, Henrik; Dalgas, Ulrik; Møller, Andreas B; Vestergaard, Poul F; Ringgaard, Steffen; Bojsen-Møller, Jens; Vissing, Kristian

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - p 398-407
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318225a26f
Original Research

Farup, J, Kjølhede, T, Sørensen, H, Dalgas, U, Møller, AB, Vestergaard, PF, Ringgaard, S, Bojsen-Møller, J, and Vissing, K. Muscle morphological and strength adaptations to endurance vs. resistance training. J Strength Cond Res 26(2): 398–407, 2012—Fascicle angle (FA) is suggested to increase as a result of fiber hypertrophy and furthermore to serve as the explanatory link in the discrepancy in the relative adaptations in the anatomical cross-sectional area (CSA) and fiber CSA after resistance training (RT). In contrast to RT, the effects of endurance training on FA are unclear. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate and compare the longitudinal effects of either progressive endurance training (END, n = 7) or RT (n = 7) in young untrained men on FA, anatomical CSA, and fiber CSA. Muscle morphological measures included the assessment of vastus lateralis FA obtained by ultrasonography and anatomical CSA by magnetic resonance imaging of the thigh and fiber CSA deduced from histochemical analyses of biopsy samples from m. vastus lateralis. Functional performance measures included V̇;O2max and maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). The RT produced increases in FA by 23 ± 8% (p < 0.01), anatomical CSA of the knee extensor muscles by 9 ± 3% (p = 0.001), and fiber CSA by 19 ± 7% (p < 0.05). RT increased knee extensor MVC by 20 ± 5% (p < 0.001). END increased V̇;O2max by 10 ± 2% but did not evoke changes in FA, anatomical CSA, or in fiber CSA. In conclusion, the morphological changes induced by 10 weeks of RT support that FA does indeed serve as the explanatory link in the observed discrepancy between the changes in anatomical and fiber CSA. Contrarily, 10 weeks of endurance training did not induce changes in FA, but the lack of morphological changes from END indirectly support the fact that fiber hypertrophy and FA are interrelated.

1Department of Sport Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; 2MR-Research Center, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; and 3Norwegian Research Center for Training and Performance, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway

Address correspondence to Kristian Vissing,

Copyright © 2012 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.