Corticospinal excitability and motor representation after long-term resistance training
journal contributionposted on 05.08.2021, 13:36 by Sumiaki Maeo, Tom BalshawTom Balshaw, Marcel B. Lanza, Ricci Hannah, Jonathan FollandJonathan Folland
It is poorly understood how the central nervous system adapts to resistance training, especially after years of exposure. We compared corticospinal excitability and motor representation assessed with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) between long-term resistance trained (LRT, ≥3 years) versus untrained (UNT) males (n = 15/group). Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were obtained from the biceps brachii during isometric elbow flexion. Stimulus-response curves were created at the hotspot during 10% maximum voluntary torque (MVT) contractions. Maximum peak-to-peak MEP amplitude (MEPmax) was acquired with 100% stimulator output intensity, whilst 25%−100% MVT was produced. Maps were created during 10% MVT contractions, with an individualised TMS intensity eliciting 20% MEPmax at the hotspot. LRT had a 48% lower stimulus-response curve slope than UNT (p <.05). LRT also had a 66% larger absolute map size, although TMS intensity used for mapping was greater in LRT versus UNT (48% vs. 26% above active motor threshold) to achieve a target 20% MEPmax at the hotspot, due to the lower slope of LRT. Map size was strongly correlated with the TMS intensity used for mapping (r = 0.776, p <.001). Once map size was normalised to TMS intensity, there was no difference between the groups (p =.683). We conclude that LRT had a lower stimulus-response curve slope/excitability, suggesting higher neural efficiency. TMS map size was overwhelmingly determined by TMS intensity, even when the MEP response at the hotspot was matched among individuals, likely due to larger current spread with higher intensities. Motor representation appears similar between LRT and UNT given no difference in the normalised map size.
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Grant/Award Number: 18K17837
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences