Chronic Neurological Adaptations to High Intensity Resistance

What is Chronic?
What is Trained?
Hypertrophy is not the only factor
Sometimes hypertrophy isn’t warranted
SAID principle
Strength:Bodyweight Sports
 Strength Athletics
 Track and Field
 Combat Sports
 Field Sports
 Swimming
 Life
Short Term Adapations to Training:
 Increase Motor Unit Recruitment
 Pattern Acquisition
 Changes in H-reflex activity
 Decrease in Inhibitory Resistance (GTO, Antagonist
 Increase Synergist Assistance
 Increase High Threshold MU Recruitment
 Increase Motor Unit Syncronization (minimal effect)
Do these adaptations just stop?
 A plateau is observed in research and in the field.
However, training is consistently varied from
stimulus, volume, load, etc. So improvements can
be continued.
Acute Adaptations Continue to a greater
Motor Units
 High Threshold
 Firing Frequency
 Conduction Velocity
Spinal Cord Plasticity
 Interneuron Circuitry
Supraspinal Activity
 Trained maximize activation
Simple vs. Complex Movements
 Proposed that complex movements have a much
larger window for adaptation
 Motor Unit coordination now a much bigger
Strength is Relative to the Task
 80% MVC Isomentric Contraction of Elbow Flexor
vs. Lifting a 400 lb stone
Training age:
 Experience = need for specificity
 Experience = less dramatic response
With proper periodization of training
performance can continue to improve.
Research is needed in the area
There is evidence that neurological changes
continue to occur throughout the training age
of a strength athlete when training
necessitates a large neural contribution (high
load/speed training)
Understanding these changes will allow for a
better understanding of training application
and progression
What is/are neurological adaptations to
resistance training that would allow for
increased strength?
 A. Increased Inhibitory activity of spinal
 B. Increased supraspinal activation
 C. Increased High Threshold Motor Unit
 D. Both B and C
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