Sprint training, in vitro and in vivo muscle function, and myosin heavy chain expression

S. D R Harridge, R. Bottinelli, M. Canepari, M. Pellegrino, C. Reggiani, M. Esbjörnsson, P. D. Balsom, B. Saltin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sprint training represents the condition in which increases in muscle shortening speed, as well as in strength, might play a significant role in improving power generation. This study therefore aimed to determine the effects of sprint training on 1) the coupling between myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform expression and function in single fibers, 2) the distribution of MHC isoforms across a whole muscle, and 3) in vivo muscle function. Seven young male subjects completed 6 wk of training (3-s sprints) on a cycle ergometer. Training was without effect on maximum shortening velocity in single fibers or in the relative distribution of MHC isoforms in either the soleus or the vastus lateralis muscles. Electrically evoked and voluntary isometric torque generation increased (P <0.05) after training in both the plantar flexors (+8% at 50 Hz and +16% maximal voluntary contraction) and knee extensors (+8% at 50 Hz and +7% maximal voluntary contraction). With the shortening potential of the muscles apparently unchanged, the increased strength of the major lower limb muscles is likely to have contributed to the 7% increase (P <0.05) in peak pedal frequency during cycling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-449
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1998


  • Contraction
  • Exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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