This study compared changes in indirect markers of muscle damage following eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors among the exercises consisting of different number of eccentric actions. Sixty male athletes were placed into one of the six groups (n = 10 per group) based on the number of eccentric actions for the first (ECC1) and second exercise bouts (ECC2). Single bout groups (30, 50, and 70) performed ECC1 only, and repeated bout groups (30-30, 50-50, and 70-70) performed ECC2 3 days after ECC1. Another 10 male athletes performed different number of eccentric actions for ECC1 (30) and ECC2 (70) separated by 3 days (30-70). Changes in maximal isometric strength (MVC), range of motion (ROM), upper arm circumference (CIR), serum creatine kinase activity, myoglobin, and nitric oxide concentrations and muscle soreness for 10 days following ECC1 were compared among groups by two-way repeated measures ANOVA. Changes in MVC, ROM, and CIR following ECC1 were significantly (P < 0.05) smaller for the groups that performed 30 eccentric actions compared with other groups. No significant differences between 30 and 30-30, 50 and 50-50, and 70 and 70-70 were evident for the changes in the measures for 10 days following ECC1 except for the acute decreases in MVC and ROM immediately after ECC2 for the repeated bout groups. The 30-30 and 30-70 groups showed similar changes in all criterion measures. It is concluded that recovery from eccentric exercise is not retarded by the second bout of eccentric exercise regardless of the number of eccentric actions.
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