tDCS enhances strength training volume

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Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation enhances strength training volume but not the force-velocity profile.

PURPOSE: This study aimed to explore the acute effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the force-velocity relationship, strength training volume, movement velocity, and ratings of perceived exertion.
METHODS: Fourteen healthy men (age 22.8 ± 3.0 years) were randomly stimulated over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with either ANODAL, CATHODAL or SHAM tDCS for 15 min at 2 mA. The one-repetition maximum (1RM) and force-velocity relationship parameters were evaluated during the bench press exercise before and after receiving the tDCS. Subsequently, participants completed a resistance training session consisting of sets of five repetitions with 1 min of inter-set rest against the 75%1RM until failure.
RESULTS: No significant changes were observed in the 1RM or in the force-velocity relationship parameters (p ≥ 0.377). The number of repetitions was higher for the ANODAL compared to the CATHODAL (p = 0.025; ES = 0.37) and SHAM (p = 0.009; ES = 0.47) conditions. The reductions of movement velocity across sets were lower for the ANODAL than for the CATHODAL and SHAM condition (p = 0.014). RPE values were lower for the ANODAL compared to the CATHODAL (p = 0.119; ES = 0.33) and SHAM (p = 0.150; ES = 0.44) conditions. No significant differences between the CATHODAL and SHAM conditions were observed for any variable.
CONCLUSION: The application of ANODAL tDCS before a resistance training session increased training volume, enabled the maintenance of higher movement velocities, and reduced RPE values. These results suggest that tDCS could be an effective method to enhance resistance-training performance.

PMID: 32533243 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2020 Jun 12;:

Authors: Alix-Fages C, García-Ramos A, Calderón-Nadal G, Colomer-Poveda D, Romero-Arenas S, Fernández-Del-Olmo M, Márquez G