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Effect of a low-intensity resistance exercise programme with blood flow restriction on growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels in middle-aged women

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Abstract

The effect of a 12-week low-intensity resistance exercise programme with blood flow restriction (LI-BFR) on growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels in middle-aged women (52.7 +/- 7.8 years) was examined. Subjects (N=44) were randomly assigned to the following five groups: control group (CG; n=8), low-intensity (40% of 1RM) resistance exercise group (LI; n=9), high-intensity (70% of 1RM) resistance exercise group (HI; n=9), low-intensity (20% of 1RM) resistance exercise group with a 5% reduction in cuff circumference for blood flow restriction (LI-5% BFR; n=7), and a low-intensity (20% of 1RM) resistance exercise group with a 3% reduction in cuff circumference (LI-3% BFR; n=11). Subjects completed pre- and post-assessments of body weight, percentage body fat, waist-to hip ratio, muscle strength, GH hormone and IGF-1 levels. A significant effect (p<0.05) was observed for waist-to-hip ratio, GH, IGF-1, biceps curls, triceps extensions, leg curls and leg extensions. A significant elevated GH level was observed in HI and LI-5% BFR groups when compared with the control group (p<0.05). A significant increase in IGF-1 levels was observed in the HI, LI-5% and LI-3% BFR groups when compared with the LI group (p<0.05). Portable cuffs reducing arm and thigh circumferences by 5% were effective in improving GH and IGF-1 levels in middle-aged women.

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... The magnitude of change was lowest for the passive control group (5%), although the main effect for TIME suggests a learning effect on strength adaptation for all groups. The increase in bilateral knee flexion 1-RM strength for LL + BFR (11%; 8 kg) is similar to a previous investigation in women (Seo et al., 2016), though was somewhat less than a previous report from our laboratory with a similar population and training protocol (18%; May et al., 2018). This may have been influenced due to differences in knee flexion exercises (i.e., prone knee flexion in the present study vs. seated previously) as the magnitude of hamstrings muscle adaptation appears influenced long muscle lengths (Maeo et al., 2021). ...
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Resistance-based blood flow restriction training (BFRT) improves skeletal muscle strength and size. Unlike heavy-load resistance training (HLRT), there is debate as to whether strength adaptations following BFRT interventions can be primarily attributed to concurrent muscle hypertrophy, as the magnitude of hypertrophy is often minor. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of 7 weeks of BFRT and HLRT on muscle strength and hypertrophy. The expression of protein growth markers from muscle biopsy samples was also measured. Male participants were allocated to moderately heavy-load training (HL; n = 9), low-load BFRT (LL + BFR; n = 8), or a control (CON; n = 9) group to control for the effect of time. HL and LL + BFR completed 21 training sessions (3 d.week ⁻¹ ) comprising bilateral knee extension and knee flexion exercises (HL = 70% one-repetition maximum (1-RM), LL + BFR = 20% 1-RM + blood flow restriction). Bilateral knee extension and flexion 1-RM strength were assessed, and leg muscle CSA was measured via peripheral quantitative computed tomography. Protein growth markers were measured in vastus lateralis biopsy samples taken pre- and post the first and last training sessions. Biopsy samples were also taken from CON at the same time intervals as HL and LL + BFR. Knee extension 1-RM strength increased in HL (19%) and LL + BFR (19%) but not CON (2%; p < 0.05). Knee flexion 1-RM strength increased similarly between all groups, as did muscle CSA (50% femur length; HL = 2.2%, LL + BFR = 3.0%, CON = 2.1%; TIME main effects). 4E-BP1 (Thr37/46) phosphorylation was lower in HL and LL + BFR immediately post-exercise compared with CON in both sessions ( p < 0.05). Expression of other growth markers was similar between groups ( p > 0.05). Overall, BFRT and HLRT improved muscle strength and size similarly, with comparable changes in intramuscular protein growth marker expression, both acutely and chronically, suggesting the activation of similar anabolic pathways. However, the low magnitude of muscle hypertrophy was not significantly different to the non-training control suggesting that strength adaptation following 7 weeks of BFRT is not driven by hypertrophy, but rather neurological adaptation.
... Data in blue represent studies with findings that report substantial positive effects of BFR on skeletal muscle size, while data in red represent no-difference (ND) or unsupportive findings of the first aim of our study; *p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001. hypertrophy include anabolic and sex hormones, which have been shown to increase [40,45,51,57] or not change [29,51] after BFR in older adults. Older males have a blunted growth hormone response after BFR exercise compared with younger males [40], suggesting age could be an underlying factor influencing the incidence and magnitude of muscle hypertrophy in response to BFR. ...
Article
Background: Blood flow restriction (BFR) is a process of using inflatable cuffs to create vascular occlusion within a limb during exercise. The technique can stimulate muscle hypertrophy and improve physical function; however, most of these studies have enrolled healthy, young men with a focus on athletic performance. Furthermore, much of the information on BFR comes from studies with small samples sizes, limited follow-up time, and varied research designs resulting in greater design, selection, and sampling bias. Despite these limitations, BFR's popularity is increasing as a clinical rehabilitation tool for aging patients. It is important for practitioners to have a clear understanding of the reported effects of BFR specifically in older adults while simultaneously critically evaluating the available literature before deciding to employ the technique. Questions/purposes: (1) Does BFR induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy in adults older than 50 years of age? (2) Does BFR improve muscle strength and/or physical function in adults older than 50 years? Methods: Using PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Science Direct, we conducted a systematic review of articles using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to assess the reported effects of BFR on skeletal muscle in older adults. Included articles enrolled participants 50 years of age or older and used BFR in conjunction with exercise to study the effects of BFR on musculoskeletal outcomes and functionality. The following search terms were used: "blood flow restriction" OR "KAATSU" OR "ischemic training" AND "clinical" AND "elderly." After duplicates were removed, 1574 articles were reviewed for eligibility, and 30 articles were retained with interventions duration ranging from cross-sectional to 16 weeks. Sample sizes ranged from 6 to 56 participants, and exercise tasks included passive mobilization or electrical stimulation; walking; resistance training using machines, free weights, body weight, or elastic bands; and water-based activities. Furthermore, healthy participants and those with cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, sporadic inclusion body myositis, spinal cord injuries, and current coma patients were studied. Lastly, retained articles were assigned a risk of bias score using aspects of the Risk of Bias in Nonrandomized Studies of Interventions and the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing the risk of bias in randomized trials. Results: BFR, in combination with a variety of exercises, was found to result in muscle hypertrophy as measured by muscle cross-sectional area, thickness, volume, mass, or circumference. Effect sizes for BFR's ability to induce muscle hypertrophy were calculated for 16 of the 30 papers and averaged 0.75. BFR was also shown to improve muscle strength and functional performance. Effect sizes were calculated for 21 of the 30 papers averaging 1.15. Conclusions: Available evidence suggests BFR may demonstrate utility in aiding rehabilitation efforts in adults older than 50 years of age, especially for inducing muscle hypertrophy, combating muscle atrophy, increasing muscle strength, and improving muscle function. However, most studies in this systematic review were at moderate or high risk of bias; that being so, the findings in this systematic review should be confirmed, ideally using greater sample sizes, randomization of participants, and extended follow-up durations. Level of evidence: Level II, systematic review.
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Background Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 12-week low intensity resistance training (RT) with blood flow restriction on bone mineral density (BMD), bone turnover markers (BTM), physical functions, and blood lactate concentration in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Methods 26 study participants (56 ± 1.8yrs, T-score: −2.5 ± 0.7) were randomly assigned into Moderate to High-Intensity RT (MHIRT, n = 7), BFR combined with Low-Intensity RT (LIBFR, n = 7), Low-Intensity RT (LIRT, n = 6), or Control group (CON, n = 6). Exercise group performed leg press, leg extension, biceps curl, and triceps extension 3 times a week for 12 weeks. Training intensity were set at 60% of 1-repetition maximum (1-RM) for MHIRT, and at 30% of 1-RM for LIBFR and LIRT, and reset every 4 weeks for increasing intensity. Results Lower, and upper limb 1-RM only increased in MHIRT (65%, p < 0.001), and LIBFR (40%, p < 0.05), while LIRT only showed increment on lower limb 1-RM (28%, p < 0.05). All exercise groups demonstrated significant increment on blood lactate concentration after training session (p < 0.001). However, LIBFR showed 2.7 folds higher increment than LIRT (p < 0.001). Although no changes were observed in MHIRT, LIBFR, and LIRT, CON showed significant decrease in BMD (p < 0.05). While, LIRT showed no responses on BTM, LIBFR significantly increased bone formation markers (P1NP) about 7.05 ng/ml (p < 0.05). Lastly, balance improvement was only found in MHIRT, and LIBFR (p < 0.05). Conclusion 12-week LIBFR can be implied as a safe, and effective method to improve muscle strength, P1NP, and balance similar to MHIRT in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or osteopenia.
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It is generally believed that optimal hypertrophic and strength gains are induced through moderate- or high-intensity resistance training, equivalent to at least 60 % of an individual's 1-repetition maximum (1RM). However, recent evidence suggests that similar adaptations are facilitated when low-intensity resistance exercise (~20-50 % 1RM) is combined with blood flow restriction (BFR) to the working muscles. Although the mechanisms underpinning these responses are not yet firmly established, it appears that localized hypoxia created by BFR may provide an anabolic stimulus by enhancing the metabolic and endocrine response, and increase cellular swelling and signalling function following resistance exercise. Moreover, BFR has also been demonstrated to increase type II muscle fibre recruitment during exercise. However, inappropriate implementation of BFR can result in detrimental effects, including petechial haemorrhage and dizziness. Furthermore, as BFR is limited to the limbs, the muscles of the trunk are unable to be trained under localized hypoxia. More recently, the use of systemic hypoxia via hypoxic chambers and devices has been investigated as a novel way to stimulate similar physiological responses to resistance training as BFR techniques. While little evidence is available, reports indicate that beneficial adaptations, similar to those induced by BFR, are possible using these methods. The use of systemic hypoxia allows large groups to train concurrently within a hypoxic chamber using multi-joint exercises. However, further scientific research is required to fully understand the mechanisms that cause augmented muscular changes during resistance exercise with a localized or systemic hypoxic stimulus.
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The focal point of previous literature was establishing the efficacy of blood flow restriction training with respect to muscular strength, muscular hypertrophy, and muscular endurance. After mounting evidence supporting the efficacy of low-intensity blood flow restriction training, research has shifted to the overall safety of this training modality. The aim of this review was to summarize the research on the overall safety of blood flow restriction training, focusing on the cardiovascular system (central and peripheral), muscle damage, oxidative stress, and nerve conduction velocity responses compared with those observed with regular exercise. Although still sparse, the blood flow restriction training research thus far is promising with respect to safety outcomes. Individuals respond similarly to blood flow restriction training and to regular exercise; however, longer term studies are required to better understand the chronic effects of low-intensity blood flow restriction training and possible safety issues.
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Single-joint resistance training with blood flow restriction (BFR) results in significant increases in arm or leg muscle size and single-joint strength. However, the effect of multijoint BFR training on both blood flow restricted limb and non-restricted trunk muscles remain poorly understood. To examine the impact of BFR bench press training on hypertrophic response to non-restricted (chest) and restricted (upper-arm) muscles and multi-joint strength, 10 young men were randomly divided into either BFR training (BFR-T) or non-BFR training (CON-T) groups. They performed 30% of one repetition maximal (1-RM) bench press exercise (four sets, total 75 reps) twice daily, 6 days week(-1) for 2 weeks. During the exercise session, subjects in the BFR-T group placed elastic cuffs proximally on both arms, with incremental increases in external compression starting at 100 mmHg and ending at 160 mmHg. Before and after the training, triceps brachii and pectoralis major muscle thickness (MTH), bench press 1-RM and serum anabolic hormones were measured. Two weeks of training led to a significant increase (P<0.05) in 1-RM bench press strength in BFR-T (6%) but not in CON-T (-2%). Triceps and pectoralis major MTH increased 8% and 16% (P<0.01), respectively, in BFR-T, but not in CON-T (-1% and 2%, respectively). There were no changes in baseline concentrations of anabolic hormones in either group. These results suggest that BFR bench press training leads to significant increases in muscle size for upper arm and chest muscles and 1-RM strength.
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Low-Intensity occlusion training provides a unique beneficial training mode for promoting muscle hypertrophy. Training at intensities as low as 20% 1RM with moderate vascular occlusion results in muscle hypertrophy in as little as three weeks. The primary mechanisms by which occlusion training is thought to stimulate growth include, metabolic accumulation, which stimulates a subsequent increase in anabolic growth factors, fast-twitch fiber recruitment (FT), and increased protein synthesis through the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. Heat shock proteins, Nitric oxide synthase-1 (NOS-1) and Myostatin have also been shown to be affected by an occlusion stimulus. In conclusion, low-intensity occlusion training appears to work through a variety of mechanisms. The research behind these mechanisms is incomplete thus far, and requires further examination, primarily to identify the actual metabolite responsible for the increase in GH with occlusion, and determine which mechanisms are associated to a greater degree with the hypertrophic/anti-catabolic changes seen with blood flow restriction.
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Longitudinal and radial tissue-fluid pressure distributions were determined beneath and adjacent to wide (12 and 18 cm) pneumatic tourniquet cuffs placed on intact human cadaveric arms and legs, respectively. Tissue fluid pressures exhibited relatively broad maxima at midcuff, and in most cases showed no differences at the various depths studied. Limb circumference was not a determining factor in the transmission of pressure to deeper tissue. We also investigated the effect of four cuff sizes (4.5, 8, 12, and 18 cm) on eliminating blood flow to the lower legs of normal subjects. The cuff pressure required to eliminate blood flow decreased as cuff width increased; thigh circumference was a determining factor in the pressure required to eliminate blood flow while using the smaller cuffs, but not while using the 18-cm cuff. Thus, wide cuffs transmit a greater percentage of the applied tourniquet pressure to deeper tissues than conventional cuffs; accordingly, lower cuff pressures are required, which may minimize soft-tissue damage during extremity surgery.
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Tourniquet-induced peripheral neuropathy is at least partially attributable to excessive forces applied to the nerves beneath cuffs inflated to high pressures. Lowering the inflation pressure to the minimum necessary to obtain an effective arrest of blood flow distal to the tourniquet cuff should increase the safety of these systems. Tourniquet cuffs with widths varying from 4.5 cm to 80 cm were applied to the upper and lower extremities of 34 healthy, normotensive volunteers. Occlusion pressure for the arterial system under study was estimated by determining that level of cuff inflation at which the distal pulse became detectable by ultrasonic flowmetry. The occlusion pressure was inversely proportional to the ratio of tourniquet cuff width to limb circumference and was in the subsystolic range at a cuff width to limb circumference ratio above 0.5. Wide tourniquet cuffs can achieve an effective arrest of the regional arterial circulation at subsystolic pressures of inflation. Wide cuffs may reduce the risk of tourniquet-induced injury to underlying soft tissues by lowering the inflation pressure required to secure a bloodless field.
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Hormonal and inflammatory responses to low-intensity resistance exercise with vascular occlusion were studied. Subjects (n = 6) performed bilateral leg extension exercise in the seated position, with the proximal end of their thigh compressed at 214 +/- 7.7 (SE) mmHg throughout the session of exercise by means of a pressure tourniquet. Mean intensity and quantity of the exercise were 20% of 1 repetition maximum and 14 repetitions x 5 sets, respectively. In each set, the subjects repeated the movement until exhaustion. Plasma concentrations of growth hormone (GH), norepinephrine (NE), lacate (La), lipid peroxide (LP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and activity of creatine phosphokinase (CPK) were measured before and after the exercise was finished and the tourniquet was released. Concentrations of GH, NE, and La consistently showed marked, transient increases after the exercise with occlusion, whereas they did not change a great deal after the exercise without occlusion (control) done at the same intensity and quantity. Notably, concentration of GH reached a level approximately 290 times as high as that of the resting level 15 min after the exercise. IL-6 concentration showed a much more gradual increase and was maintained at a slightly higher level than in the control even 24 h after exercise. Concentrations of LP and CPK showed no significant change. The results suggest that extremely light resistance exercise combined with occlusion greatly stimulates the secretion of GH through regional accumulation of metabolites without considerable tissue damage.
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Acute and long-term effects of resistance exercise combined with vascular occlusion on muscular function were investigated. Changes in integrated electromyogram with respect to time (iEMG), vascular resistive index, and plasma lactate concentration were measured in five men either during or after elbow flexion exercises with the proximal end of the arm occluded at 0-100 mmHg. The mean iEMG, postexercise hyperemia, and plasma lactate concentration were all elevated with the increase in occlusion pressure at a low-intensity exercise, whereas they were unchanged with the increase in occlusion pressure at high-intensity exercise. To investigate the long-term effects of low-intensity exercise with occlusion, older women (n = 24) were subjected to a 16-wk exercise training for elbow flexor muscles, in which low-intensity [ approximately 50-30% one repetition maximum (1 RM)] exercise with occlusion at approximately 110 mmHg (LIO), low-intensity exercise without occlusion (LI), and high- to medium-intensity ( approximately 80-50% 1 RM) exercise without occlusion (HI) were performed. Percent increases in both cross-sectional area and isokinetic strength of elbow flexor muscles after LIO were larger than those after LI (P < 0.05) and similar to those after HI. The results suggest that resistance exercise at an intensity even lower than 50% 1 RM is effective in inducing muscular hypertrophy and concomitant increase in strength when combined with vascular occlusion.
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To obtain insight into the relative contributions of exercise and occlusive stimuli to these muscular adaptations, the present study investigated the short- and long-term effects of varied combinations of low-intensity exercise and vascular occlusion. The subjects were separated into 3 groups (n = 6 for each group): low-intensity with vascular occlusion (LIO), low-intensity without vascular occlusion (LI), and vascular occlusion without exercise (VO). LIO and LI groups performed bilateral knee extension exercises in seated positions with an isotonic extension machine. In the LIO group, both sides of the thigh were pressure-occluded at the proximal end by means of a tourniquet during the entire session of exercise (approximately 10 min), whereas only the occlusion with the same pressure and duration was given in the VO group. The mean occlusion pressure was 218 +/- 8.1 mmHg (mean +/- SE). The exercise session consisted of five sets of exercise at an intensity of 10-20% 1RM and was performed twice a week for 8 wk. After the period of exercise training, isometric and isokinetic strengths at all velocities examined increased significantly in the LIO group (p < 0.05), whereas no significant change in strength was seen in the LI and VO groups. The increase in muscular strength in LIO was associated with a significant increase in the cross-sectional area of knee extensor muscles by 10.3 +/- 1.6%. The plasma growth hormone concentration measured 15 min after the session of exercise showed a marked increase only in LIO. The results showed that the low-intensity exercise and occlusive stimuli have cooperative effects in the long-term adaptation of muscle and an acute response to growth hormone.
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Resistance exercise has been shown to elicit a significant acute hormonal response. It appears that this acute response is more critical to tissue growth and remodelling than chronic changes in resting hormonal concentrations, as many studies have not shown a significant change during resistance training despite increases in muscle strength and hypertrophy. Anabolic hormones such as testosterone and the superfamily of growth hormones (GH) have been shown to be elevated during 15-30 minutes of post-resistance exercise providing an adequate stimulus is present. Protocols high in volume, moderate to high in intensity, using short rest intervals and stressing a large muscle mass, tend to produce the greatest acute hormonal elevations (e.g. testosterone, GH and the catabolic hormone cortisol) compared with low-volume, high-intensity protocols using long rest intervals. Other anabolic hormones such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are critical to skeletal muscle growth. Insulin is regulated by blood glucose and amino acid levels. However, circulating IGF-1 elevations have been reported following resistance exercise presumably in response to GH-stimulated hepatic secretion. Recent evidence indicates that muscle isoforms of IGF-1 may play a substantial role in tissue remodelling via up-regulation by mechanical signalling (i.e. increased gene expression resulting from stretch and tension to the muscle cytoskeleton leading to greater protein synthesis rates). Acute elevations in catecholamines are critical to optimal force production and energy liberation during resistance exercise. More recent research has shown the importance of acute hormonal elevations and mechanical stimuli for subsequent up- and down-regulation of cytoplasmic steroid receptors needed to mediate the hormonal effects. Other factors such as nutrition, overtraining, detraining and circadian patterns of hormone secretion are critical to examining the hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance training.
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The growth hormone (GH)/ insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) axis exerts short-and long-term metabolic effects that are potentially important during exercise. Exercise is a potent stimulus to GH release and there is some evidence that the acute increase in GH is important in regulating substrate metabolism post-exercise. Regular exercise also increases 24-hour GH secretion rates, which potentially contributes to the physiologic changes induced by training. The effects of GH replacement in GH-deficient adults provide a useful model with which to study the effects of the more long-term effects of the GH/ IGF-I axis. There is convincing evidence that GH replacement increases exercise capacity. Measures of exercise performance including maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and ventilatory threshold (VeT) are impaired in GH deficiency and improved by GH replacement, probably through some combination of increased oxygen delivery to exercising muscle, increased fatty acid availability with glycogen sparing, increased muscle strength, improved body composition and improved thermoregulation. Administration of supraphysiologic doses of GH to athletes increases fatty acid availability and reduces oxidative protein loss particularly during exercise, and increases lean body mass. It is not known whether these effects translate to improved athletic performance, although recombinant human GH is known to be widely abused in sport. The model of acromegaly provides evidence that long-term GH excess does not result in improved performance but it is possible that a "window" exists in which the protein anabolic effects of supraphysiologic GH might be advantageous.
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There is currently widespread interest in the IGFs (IGF-I and IGF-II) and their roles in the regulation of growth and differentiation of an ever increasing number of tissues are being reported. This selective review focused on the current state of our knowledge about the structure of mammalian IGFs and the multiple forms of mRNAs which arise from alternative splicing and promoter sites which arise from gene transcription. Current progress in the immunological measurement of the IGF is reviewed including different strategies for avoiding binding protein interference. The results of measurements of serum IGF-I and IGF-II in fetus and mother and at various stages of postnatal life are described. Existing knowledge of the concentration of these peptides in body fluids and tissues are considered. Last, an attempt is made to indicate circumstances in which the IGFs are exerting their actions in an autocrine/paracrine mode and when endocrine actions predominate. In the latter context it was concluded that an important role for GH action on skeletal tissues via hepatic production of IGF-I and endocrine action of IGF-I on growth cartilage is likely.
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Adaptations in resistance training are focused on the development and maintenance of the neuromuscular unit needed for force production [97, 136]. The effects of training, when using this system, affect many other physiological systems of the body (e.g., the connective tissue, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems) [16, 18, 37, 77, 83]. Training programs are highly specific to the types of adaptation that occur. Activation of specific patterns of motor units in training dictate what tissue and how other physiological systems will be affected by the exercise training. The time course of the development of the neuromuscular system appears to be dominated in the early phase by neural factors with associated changes in the types of contractile proteins. In the later adaptation phase, muscle protein increases, and the contractile unit begins to contribute the most to the changes in performance capabilities. A host of other factors can affect the adaptations, such as functional capabilities of the individual, age, nutritional status, and behavioral factors (e.g., sleep and health habits). Optimal adaptation appears to be related to the use of specific resistance training programs to meet individual training objectives.
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The effect of sustained submaximal exercise on muscle energetics has been studied on the single-fiber level in human skeletal muscle. Seven subjects cycled to fatigue (mean 77 min) at a work rate corresponding to approximately 75% of maximal O2 uptake. Biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis muscle at rest, at fatigue, and after 5 min of recovery. Muscle glycogen decreased from 444 +/- 40 (SE) mmol glucosyl units/kg dry wt at rest to 94 +/- 16. Postexercise glycogen was inversely correlated (P < 0.01) to muscle content of inosine monophosphate, a catabolite of ATP. Phosphocreatine (PCr) in mixed-fiber muscle decreased at fatigue to 37% but was restored above the initial value (106.5%, P < 0.025) after 5 min of recovery. The overshoot was localized to type I fibers. The rapid reversal of PCr is in contrast to the slow recovery in contraction force. Pi increased at fatigue but less than that expected from the changes in PCr and other phosphate compounds. Mean PCr at rest was approximately 20% higher in type II than in type I fibers (86.4 +/- 3.6 and 71.6 +/- 1.8 mmol/kg dry wt, respectively, P < 0.05), but at fatigue similar PCr contents were observed in the two fiber types. Reduction in PCr in all fibers at fatigue suggests that all fibers were recruited at the end of exercise. PCr content in single fibers showed a great variability in samples at rest, exercise, and recovery. The variability was more pronounced than for ATP, and the data suggest that it is due to interfiber physiological-biochemical differences. At fatigue ATP was maintained relatively high in all single fibers, but a pronounced depletion of PCr was observed in a large number of fibers, and this may contribute to fatigue through the associated increases in Pi or/and free ADP. It is noteworthy that the increase in calculated free ADP at fatigue was similar to that after high-intensity exercise.
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The occurrence of an abrupt acceleration in phosphocreatine hydrolysis in the tibial anterior muscle during the last part of a sustained isometric exercise at 30% maximal voluntary contraction until fatigue is demonstrated in seven out of eight healthy subjects by applying in vivo 31P NMR spectroscopy at 1.5 T field strength. This additional third phase in PCr hydrolysis, is preceded by a common biphasic pattern (first fast then slow) in PCr use. The NMR spectra, as localized by a surface coil and improved by proton irradiation, were collected at a time resolution of 16 s. Mean rates of PCr hydrolysis during exercise were -0.44 +/- 0.19% s(-1), -0.07 +/- 0.04% s(-1), and -0.29 +/- 0.10% s(-1) for the three successive phases. The increased rate of PCr hydrolysis, and also the loss of fine force control evident in the force records are consistent with increased involvement of large, fast-fatiguable units later in the contraction.
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Some previous studies have shown that resistance exercise training with venous occlusion causes an enhanced hypertrophy in human muscles. To investigate the effects of blood flow on muscular size at either cellular or subcellular level, we developed an animal model in which several veins from hindlimb muscles of the rat are surgically crush-occluded. Twenty-four male Wister rats were randomly assigned into either a group for sham operation (sham group) or a group for venous occlusion (experimental group; N = 12 for each group). Fourteen days after the operation, plantaris, soleus, gastrocnemius, extensor digitorum longus, and tibialis anterior muscles were dissected from hindlimbs and subjected to morphological and biochemical analyses. Fourteen days after the operation, the muscles expect for soleus showed similar increases in wet weight/body weight (by 7-12%) as compared with the sham-operated group (P < 0.05). Further analyses on the plantaris muscle showed increases in muscle dry weight/ body weight (by 10%) and the concentrations of myofibrillar protein (by 23%), glycogen (by 93%) and lactate (by 23%) after the operation (P < 0.05). Mean fiber cross-sectional area was larger by 34% in the experimental group than in the sham-operated group (P < 0.01). The content of HSP-72 increased, whereas that of myostatin protein decreased (P < 0.01). The expression of nitric oxide synthase-1 (NOS-1) mRNA increased (P < 0.01), whereas that of IGF-1 mRNA showed no significant change (P = 0.36). Although the muscle nitric oxide (NO) concentration tended to increase, but the change was not significant (P = 0.10). Changes in muscle blood flow may affect the muscular size through actions of HSP-72, myostatin, and NOS-1.
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This study investigated whether muscle hypertrophy-promoting effects are cross-transferred in resistance training with blood flow restriction, which has been shown to evoke strong endocrine activation. Fifteen untrained men were randomly assigned into the occlusive training group (OCC, N = 8) and the normal training group (NOR, N = 7). Both groups performed the same unilateral arm exercise (arm curl) at 50% of one-repetition maximum (1RM) without occlusion (three sets, 10 repetitions). Either the dominant or nondominant arm was randomly chosen to be trained (OCC-T, NOR-T) or to serve as a control (OCC-C, NOR-C). After the arm exercise, OCC performed leg exercise with blood flow restriction (30% of 1RM, three sets, 15-30 repetitions), whereas NOR performed the same leg exercise without occlusion. The training session was performed twice a week for 10 wk. In a separate set of experiments, acute changes in blood hormone concentrations were measured after the same leg exercises with (N = 5) and without (N = 5) occlusion. Cross-sectional area (CSA) and isometric torque of elbow flexor muscles increased significantly in OCC-T, whereas no significant changes were observed in OCC-C, NOR-T, and NOR-C. CSA and isometric torque of thigh muscles increased significantly in OCC, whereas no significant changes were observed in NOR. Noradrenaline concentration showed a significantly larger increase after leg exercise with occlusion than after exercises without occlusion, though growth hormone and testosterone concentrations did not show significant differences between these two types of exercises. The results indicate that low-intensity resistance training increases muscular size and strength when combined with resistance exercise with blood flow restriction for other muscle groups. It was suggested that any circulating factor(s) was involved in this remote effect of exercise on muscular size.