Tracking the corticospinal responses to strength training

Mason, Joel, Frazer, Ashlyn K., Avela, Janne, Pearce, Alan, Howatson, Glyn and Kidgell, Dawson J. (2020) Tracking the corticospinal responses to strength training. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 120 (4). pp. 783-798. ISSN 1439-6319

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04316-6

Abstract

Purpose
The motor cortex (M1) appears to be a primary site of adaptation following both a single session, and repeated strength-training sessions across multiple weeks. Given that a single session of strength-training is sufficient to induce modification at the level of the M1 and corticospinal tract, this study sought to determine how these acute changes in M1 and corticospinal tract might accumulate across the course of a 2-week heavy-load strength-training program.

Methods
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to infer corticospinal excitability (CSE), intracortical facilitation (ICF), short and long-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI and LICI) and silent period duration prior to and following each training session during a 2-week heavy-load strength-training period.

Results
Following 2-weeks of strength-training, increases in strength (15.5%, P = 0.01) were accompanied by an increase in CSE (44%, P = 0.006) and reductions in both silent period duration (14%, P < 0.0001) and SICI (35%, P = 0.0004). Early training sessions acutely increased CSE and ICF, and acutely reduced silent period duration and SICI. However, later training sessions failed to modulate SICI and ICF, with substantial adaptations occurring offline between training sessions. No acute or retained changes in LICI were observed. Co-contraction of antagonists reduced by 36% following 2-weeks of strength-training.

Conclusions
Collectively, these results indicate that corticospinal plasticity occurs within and between training sessions throughout a training period in distinct early and later stages that are modulated by separate mechanisms of plasticity. The development of strength is akin to the previously reported changes that occur following motor skill training.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corticospinal excitability, Cortical plasticity, Intracortical facilitation, Short-interval cortical inhibition, Silent period, Strength training
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 15:35
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2020 14:39
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42004

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