Biochemical and histochemical adaptation to sprint training in young athletes

Acta Physiol Scand. 1990 Nov;140(3):341-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.1990.tb09008.x.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of 8 months of a specific and controlled sprint training programme on three groups of young athletes (two groups of males and one of females). Biopsies of vastus lateralis were taken before and after the period of training. The type percentage and diameter of the fibres, as well as the glycogen content and the activities of the enzymes of glycogen metabolism (glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase), glycolysis (phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, aldolase and lactate dehydrogenase), oxidative metabolism (succinate dehydrogenase) and creatine kinase and aminotransferases were studied. The results show an increase in the percentage of type I fibres and an increase in the diameter of both fibre types. A significant increase was also observed in glycogen content, and in the activities of glycogen synthase, glycogen phosphorylase, phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, succinate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase. We conclude that a long period of sprint training induces a biochemical muscle adaptation to anaerobic exercise. This metabolic adaptation is followed by a morphological adaptation, although this is probably not as specific as the biochemical one.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Female
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Running


  • Glycogen