Resistance training in patients with peripheral arterial disease: effects on myosin isoforms, fiber type distribution, and capillary supply to skeletal muscle

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Jul;56(7):B302-10. doi: 10.1093/gerona/56.7.b302.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a progressive resistance training program on myosin heavy chain isoform expression, fiber type, and capillarization in patients with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease. Patients were randomized to either a training group (n = 11, mean +/- SD, 70 +/- 6 years, 4 men, 7 women) or a control group (n = 9, 66 +/- 6 years, 5 men, 4 women). The training sessions were completed 3 times/week, using 2 sets of various exercises, each performed for 8-15 repetitions. Muscle biopsies were obtained before and after 24 weeks from the medial gastrocnemius. Following the 24-week training program, the training group had significantly decreased the percentage of myosin heavy chain type IIB. The proportion of type IIB/AB fibers as measured by using myosin adenosine triphosphatase histochemistry decreased significantly in the training group. There were significant increases in type I and type II fiber areas, and capillary density also increased significantly in the training group. There were significant increases in 10 repetition maximum leg press and calf press strengths in the trained subjects. There were no significant changes in any of the measurements in the control group. It is concluded that progressive resistance training results in significant increases in muscle strength and alters skeletal muscle composition of subjects with peripheral arterial disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / metabolism
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / pathology
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Biopsy
  • Capillaries
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / metabolism*
  • Walking*


  • Myosin Heavy Chains