Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise and Sport Sciences


Purpose: The purpose of study was to determine if three discrete levels of soreness can be identified using various magnitudes of eccentric triceps exercise in non-resistance trained, college-aged students. Methods: Male (n=12) and female (n=12) subjects were recruited and randomly assigned to a 20-, 40-, or 60-repetition group (n=8). Subjects performed maximal eccentric triceps contraction at 90''s-1 on a Cybex isokinetic dynamometer. Measurement of peak torque (PT), arm circumference (2, 6, and 9 cm), relaxed arm angle (RANG), elbow range of motion (ROM), descriptor differential scale (DDS) (sensation and unpleasantness), and creatine kinase (CK) were done at baseline and 24, 48,72, and 96 h post-soreness induction. A 3 x 5 repeated-measure ANOVA was then done for each dependent variable to assess interactions as well as time- and group-main effects. To eliminate a dampening effect of baseline values on group data, a univariate ANOVA was also done to determine if groups were similar at baseline. lf they were, a univariate ANOVA on group was done collapsing all time periods but excluding baseline. Results: A reduction in PT was proportionate to the amount of exercise, as strength decreased by 13.6%, 32.9%, and 47 .3% following 20-, 40- and 60-repetitions, respectively, compared to baseline for all time points combined. Arm circumference (2 cm) was significantly different between 20- and 60- repetition groups, whereas RANG was significantly different between the 20- and 40- and 20- and 60-; there were no differences between the 40- and 60- repetition groups for either variable. Also, G0-repetitions reduced ROM more than 20-repetitions, but no difference was found for 40-repetitions. Surprisingly, DDS (sensation) was same for all three groups, but DDS (unpleasantness) was significantly different between the 20- and 60- repetition groups, as was CK. Changes in all variables except CK peaked at 48 h and had not returned to baseline at 96 h. Conclusion: Under the present experimental conditions, DOMS can be manipulated into three.discrete levels as measured by strength loss (PT) and into two levels when assessed with changes in arm circumference at 2 cm, ROM, RANG, and unpleasantness of soreness. This information may be helpful to researchers, as well as health care and exercise professionals, when assessing efficient treatment and prevention strategies for DOMS.



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