Effects of insulin on glycogen synthesis (GS), glycolytic utilization (GU), and glucose uptake (GT) were studied in isolated epitrochlearis muscles from exercise-trained or sedentary rats during recovery from acute exercise or at rest. During the 1st h after acute exercise, the enhanced basal and insulin-stimulated GT was directed mainly toward replenishment of glycogen but basal GU was also increased. During the second through third hours after exercise, basal GS decreased but remained greater than rest and basal GU and GT returned to normal. Insulin sensitivity of these parameters was enhanced. Training alone reduced basal GS but enhanced insulin sensitivity of GT and GU. Training reduced the acute exercise-stimulated increase in basal and insulin sensitivity of GS during recovery from acute exercise, probably due to elevated glycogen stores. Thus recovery from acute exercise or training, either alone or in combination, enhances insulin stimulated GT in muscle; however, the increased glucose is primarily channeled toward GS after acute exercise, which is reduced by prior training and is directed to GU in trained animals either at rest or after acute exercise.