Low-load High Volume Resistance Exercise Stimulates Muscle Protein Synthesis More Than High-Load Low Volume Resistance Exercise in Young Men

PLoS One. 2010 Aug 9;5(8):e12033. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012033.

Abstract

Background: We aimed to determine the effect of resistance exercise intensity (%1 repetition maximum-1RM) and volume on muscle protein synthesis, anabolic signaling, and myogenic gene expression.

Methodology/principal findings: Fifteen men (21+/-1 years; BMI=24.1+/-0.8 kg/m2) performed 4 sets of unilateral leg extension exercise at different exercise loads and/or volumes: 90% of repetition maximum (1RM) until volitional failure (90FAIL), 30% 1RM work-matched to 90%FAIL (30WM), or 30% 1RM performed until volitional failure (30FAIL). Infusion of [ring-13C6] phenylalanine with biopsies was used to measure rates of mixed (MIX), myofibrillar (MYO), and sarcoplasmic (SARC) protein synthesis at rest, and 4 h and 24 h after exercise. Exercise at 30WM induced a significant increase above rest in MIX (121%) and MYO (87%) protein synthesis at 4 h post-exercise and but at 24 h in the MIX only. The increase in the rate of protein synthesis in MIX and MYO at 4 h post-exercise with 90FAIL and 30FAIL was greater than 30WM, with no difference between these conditions; however, MYO remained elevated (199%) above rest at 24 h only in 30FAIL. There was a significant increase in AktSer473 at 24h in all conditions (P=0.023) and mTORSer2448 phosphorylation at 4 h post-exercise (P=0.025). Phosporylation of Erk1/2Tyr202/204, p70S6KThr389, and 4E-BP1Thr37/46 increased significantly (P<0.05) only in the 30FAIL condition at 4 h post-exercise, whereas, 4E-BP1Thr37/46 phosphorylation was greater 24 h after exercise than at rest in both 90FAIL (237%) and 30FAIL (312%) conditions. Pax7 mRNA expression increased at 24 h post-exercise (P=0.02) regardless of condition. The mRNA expression of MyoD and myogenin were consistently elevated in the 30FAIL condition.

Conclusions/significance: These results suggest that low-load high volume resistance exercise is more effective in inducing acute muscle anabolism than high-load low volume or work matched resistance exercise modes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors / genetics
  • PAX7 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • Phenylalanine / blood
  • Phenylalanine / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Resistance Training*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Muscle Proteins
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors
  • PAX7 Transcription Factor
  • PAX7 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Phenylalanine