Skeletal muscle and resistance exercise training; the role of protein synthesis in recovery and remodeling

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Mar 1;122(3):541-548. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00613.2016. Epub 2016 Oct 14.


Exercise results in the rapid remodeling of skeletal muscle. This process is underpinned by acute and chronic changes in both gene and protein synthesis. In this short review we provide a brief summary of our current understanding regarding how exercise influences these processes as well as the subsequent impact on muscle protein turnover and resultant shift in muscle phenotype. We explore concepts of ribosomal biogenesis and the potential role of increased translational capacity vs. translational efficiency in contributing to muscular hypertrophy. We also examine whether high-intensity sprinting-type exercise promotes changes in protein turnover that lead to hypertrophy or merely a change in mitochondrial content. Finally, we propose novel areas for future study that will fill existing knowledge gaps in the fields of translational research and exercise science.

Keywords: high-intensity intermittent exercise; muscle protein synthesis; resistance exercise training; ribosomal biogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Protein Biosynthesis / physiology*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Resistance Training*


  • Muscle Proteins