Postactivation Potentiation Counteracts Low- Frequency Fatigue of Quadriceps Muscle during Explosive Strength Training Session


  • Nerijus Masiulis
  • Albertas Skurvydas
  • Sigitas Kamandulis
  • Lina Kamandulienė



Repeated activation of muscle induces processes resulting in decreased performance (fatigue) as well as enhanced
performance (postactivation potentiation, (PAP)). This implies that at any time during contraction, fatiguing effects
are being countered by potentiation effects, and vise versa. Therefore, which of the processes will be prevalent during
and after explosive strength training is not clear.
The purpose of this investigation was to study the acute neuromuscular responses to one explosive strength training
session. Eleven healthy untrained men (aged 22—35 years) performed explosive strength training session of six sets
(fi ve repetitions each) of the unilateral isometric contractions at an angle of 90 degrees in the knee. The contractility
of the muscle was monitored via the electrically evoked contractions at 1, 20, and 50 Hz (P 1, P 20, and P 50, re-
spectively) before (Ini), after the fi rst and sixth sets as well as during the 5 and 30 min recovery period (A 5 and A 30,
respectively). Contraction time (CT) and relaxation time (RT) of a single twitch (P1) of quadriceps was registered.
Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force as well force developed during 100 ms (MVC 0-100ms ) was also determined.
The ratio of P 20 / P 50 kinetics after exercise was used for the evaluation of low-frequency fatigue (LFF). There was
statistically signifi cant repetition effect observed on MVC (p = 0.045) and MVC 0-100ms  (p = 0.012). After the fi rst set
there was a signifi cant increase in muscle force induced by very low (1 Hz) and low (20 Hz) stimulation frequencies
and did not change during all explosive strength training session (p < 0.05). The ratio of P 20 / P 50 recorded after
the fi rst set increased signifi cantly (p < 0.05), however 30-min after the explosive strength training session it was
signifi cantly decrease in P 20 / P50 ratio compared to its Ini level (p < 0.05). The present study showed that potentia-
tion increases P 20 / P 50 ratio during the explosive strength training session, however the subsequent (after 30 min
of recovery) decline in P 20 / P 50 ratio is an outcome of diminishing infl uence of potentiation on the background of
persistent LFF. Therefore, when muscles are potentiated, it may seem as if no LFF is present.

Keywords: explosive strength training, low-frequency fatigue, maximum voluntary contraction, post-activation potentiation.


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How to Cite

Masiulis, N., Skurvydas, A., Kamandulis, S., & Kamandulienė, L. (2018). Postactivation Potentiation Counteracts Low- Frequency Fatigue of Quadriceps Muscle during Explosive Strength Training Session. Baltic Journal of Sport and Health Sciences, 4(63).



Sports Physiology