Effects of 22 degrees C muscle temperature on voluntary and evoked muscle properties during and after high-intensity exercise

Eric J Drinkwater, David G Behm

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    20 Citations (Scopus)
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    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 22 degrees C local muscle temperature of intact human plantar flexors performing fatiguing contractions on evoked and voluntary contractile properties before and after fatigue. Twelve subjects were tested on plantar flexor voluntary torque, percent muscle activation derived from twitch interpolation, integrated electromyographic (iEMG) activity, and evoked torque and temporal characteristics of maximal twitch and tetanic stimulations before fatigue and 1, 5, and 10 min after intermittent, high-intensity, isometric fatigue under both normothermic and hypothermic conditions. Hypothermic and normothermic changes between time points were analysed by repeated-measures analysis of variance. Normothermic fatigue induced small to large effects (Cohen's d: 0.29-3.06) on voluntary and evoked contractile properties, whereas most effects of unfatigued hypothermia were limited to rate-dependent processes (Cohen's d: 0.78-1.70). Most tetanic properties were potentiated 1 min after normothermic fatigue, but remained unchanged by hypothermic fatigue, resulting in significant differences between the two conditions. Soleus iEMG significantly declined 1 min after normothermic fatigue (-29%), but not after hypothermic fatigue. Twitch torque was potentiated by 29% one minute after fatigue while normothermic, but was potentiated by 46% while hypothermic; rate of twitch torque development and time to peak twitch were potentiated by 39% and 10% while normothermic, but 89% and 28% while hypothermic. Although voluntary contractile properties are generally impaired soon after normothermic fatigue, most were not after hypothermic fatigue. Furthermore, evoked contractile properties were generally higher 1 min after hypothermic fatigue. We conclude that the hypothermic condition slows the recovery of potentiated evoked contractile properties back to baseline values.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1043-1051
    Number of pages9
    JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


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