A1 Journal article (refereed)
Training-Induced Acute Neuromuscular Responses to Military Specific Test during a Six-Month Military Operation (2021)

Pihlainen, K., Pesola, A. J., Helén, J., Häkkinen, K., Finni, T., Ojanen, T., Vaara, J. P., Santtila, M., Raitanen, J., & Kyröläinen, H. (2021). Training-Induced Acute Neuromuscular Responses to Military Specific Test during a Six-Month Military Operation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(1), Article 215. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010215

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Pihlainen, Kai; Pesola, Arto J.; Helén, Joonas; Häkkinen, Keijo; Finni, Taija; Ojanen, Tommi; Vaara, Jani P.; Santtila, Matti; Raitanen, Jani; Kyröläinen, Heikki

Journal or series: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

ISSN: 1661-7827

eISSN: 1660-4601

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 18

Issue number: 1

Article number: 215

Publisher: MDPI

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010215

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73868


Limited data are available regarding strength and endurance training adaptations to occupational physical performance during deployment. This study assessed acute training-induced changes in neuromuscular (electromyography; EMG) and metabolic (blood lactate, BLa) responses during a high-intensity military simulation test (MST), performed in the beginning (PRE) and at the end (POST) of a six-month crisis-management operation. MST time shortened (145 ± 21 vs. 129 ± 16 s, −10 ± 7%, p < 0.001) during the operation. Normalized muscle activity increased from PRE to POST in the hamstring muscles by 87 ± 146% (116 ± 52 vs. 195 ± 139%EMGMVC, p < 0.001) and in the quadriceps by 54 ± 81% (26 ± 8 vs. 40 ± 20%EMGMVC, p < 0.001). In addition, higher acute BLa values were measured after MST during POST. Changes in BLa and EMG suggested an increased neural input and metabolic rate during POST MST, likely leading to faster performance times at the end of the operation. High EMG values throughout the different phases of MST suggested that despite the anaerobic nature of the test, the soldiers were able to maintain their voluntary muscle activation level until the end of the test. This indicates only limited neural fatigue during the two-minute high-intensity military specific performance. While learning effect may explain some part of the improvement in the MST performance times, combined strength and endurance training three times per week may improve neuromuscular performance in occupationally relevant tasks.

Keywords: military operations; physiological effects; physical fitness; muscle fitness; performance (capacity); electromyography

Free keywords: readiness; physical fitness; soldier; occupational performance; electromyography

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 12:04