Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in the interference pattern in surface electromyography (EMG), and its relationship with the tendency of motor unit (MU) recruitment during steady-hold and rapid muscle contractions. Methods: Fifteen healthy adults (eight females and seven males, 22.6 ± 1.5 years old) performed steady-hold and rapid isometric contractions of the bicep brachii, adductor pollicis, and tibialis anterior muscles at various force levels. Surface EMG recordings were analyzed using Turns-Amplitude Analysis (TAA). Results: During steady-hold contractions, the number of turns per second (T/s) increased exponentially with force during submaximal contractions, and plateaued after force levels of 66, 70 and 57 % MVC for the tibialis anterior, bicep brachii and adductor pollicis muscles, respectively. These force levels were proximate to the maximal recruitment threshold (MaxRT) reported previously. The slopes of the T/s–force relationships before the MaxRT were significantly greater than the slopes after the MaxRT for all three muscles tested. During rapid contraction, the slopes of the T/s–force relationships were significantly lower than the slopes of the steady-hold contraction at 20–40 % MVC in all three muscles, and for 40–60 % MVC in TA muscles. Conclusions: Our results suggested that the changes in the number of turns in surface EMG with respect to muscle force can be used to estimate the force levels at which the majority of the MUs to be recruited, and completion of MU recruitment was observed at lower force levels during rapid muscle contraction.