Intermittent Resistance Training at Moderate Altitude: Effects on the Force-Velocity Relationship, Isometric Strength and Muscle Architecture
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AuthorMorales Artacho, Antonio Jesús; Padial Puche, Paulino; García Ramos, Amador; Pérez Castilla, Alejandro; Argüelles-Cienfuegos, Javier; de la Fuente, Blanca; Feriche, Belén
HypoxiaStrength trainingMusclePower trainingMuscle architecture
Morales-Artacho AJ, Padial P, García-Ramos A, Pérez-Castilla A, Argüelles-Cienfuegos J, De la Fuente B and Feriche B (2018) Intermittent Resistance Training at Moderate Altitude: Effects on the Force-Velocity Relationship, Isometric Strength and Muscle Architecture. Front. Physiol. 9:594. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00594
SponsorshipThis work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education under Grant [FPU 13/04801]; Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness under Grant (DEP2015-64350-P-MINECO/FEDER).
Intermittent hypoxic resistance training (IHRT) may help to maximize the adaptations following resistance training, although conflicting evidence is available. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of moderate altitude on the functional, neural and muscle architecture responses of the quadriceps muscles following a power-oriented IHRT intervention. Twenty-four active males completed two 4-week consecutive training blocks comprising general strengthening exercises (weeks 1–4) and power-oriented resistance training (weeks 5–8). Training sessions were conducted twice a week at moderate altitude (2320 m; IHRT, n = 13) or normoxia (690 m; NT, n = 11). Training intensity during the second training block was set to the individual load corresponding to a barbell mean propulsive velocity of 1 m·s−1. Pre-post assessments, performed under normoxic conditions, comprised quadriceps muscle architecture (thickness, pennation angle and fascicle length), isometric maximal (MVF) and explosive strength, and voluntary muscle activation. Dynamic strength performance was assessed through the force-velocity relationship (F0, V0, P0) and a repeated CMJ test (CMJ15MP). Region-specific muscle thickness changes were observed in both training groups (p < 0.001, η2G = 0.02). A small opposite trend in pennation angle changes was observed (ES [90% CI]: −0.33 [−0.65, −0.01] vs. 0.11 [−0.44, 0.6], in the IHRT and NT group, respectively; p = 0.094, η2G = 0.02). Both training groups showed similar improvements in MVF (ES: 0.38 [0.20, 0.56] vs. 0.55 [0.29, 0.80], in the IHRT and NT group, respectively; p = 0.645, η2G < 0.01), F0 (ES: 0.41 [−0.03, 0.85] vs. 0.52 [0.04, 0.99], in the IHRT and NT group, respectively; p = 0.569, η2G < 0.01) and P0 (ES: 0.53 [0.07, 0.98] vs. 0.19 [−0.06, 0.44], in the IHRT and NT group, respectively; p = 0.320, η2G < 0.01). No meaningful changes in explosive strength performance were observed. In conclusion, contrary to earlier adverse associations between altitude and resistance-training muscle adaptations, similar anatomical and functional muscle strength responses can be achieved in both environmental conditions. The observed region-specific muscle thickness changes may encourage further research on the potential influence of IHRT on muscle morphological changes.