Inheritance of human skeletal muscle and anaerobic capacity adaptation to high-intensity intermittent training

Int J Sports Med. 1986 Jun;7(3):167-71. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1025756.


The role of heredity in the response of maximal anaerobic capacities and skeletal muscle histochemical and biochemical characteristics to a 15-week cycle ergometer training program involving both continuous and interval work patterns was investigated in 14 pairs of monozygotic twins. The training program consisted mainly of series of ergocycle supramaximal exercises lasting from 15 s to 90 s and performed 4 and 5 times a week. The subjects were submitted to 10 s and 90 s all-out ergocycle tests to estimate maximal anaerobic alactacid (AAC) and lactacid (ALC) capacities, respectively. Muscle fiber types and creatine kinase (CK), hexokinase (HK), phosphofructokinase (PFK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), 3-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase (HADH), and oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (OGDH) activities were determined in a biopsy from the vastus lateralis. Training increased AAC, ALC, fiber type I proportion, MDH, HADH, and OGDH (P less than 0.05) and decreased fiber type IIb proportion and the PFK/OGDH ratio. No significant change was observed for CK, HK, PFK, and LDH. Large interindividual differences in the response to training were observed for all variables. However, intraclass correlations indicated that the extent of the response of ALC and CK, HK, LDH, MDH, and OGDH activities and of the PFK/OGDH activity ratio to training were significantly similar within pairs of twins. Although the role of heredity appeared absent for the changes in fiber type proportions and in anaerobic alactacid capacity, the present results suggest that the response of anaerobic lactacid capacity and most enzyme activities to high-intensity intermittent training is significantly determined by the genotype.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Genetics, Medical*
  • Genotype
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Lactates / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid
  • Male
  • Muscles / enzymology*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Time Factors
  • Twins, Monozygotic


  • Lactates
  • Lactic Acid