Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985) | 30 Oct 2012
TR Lundberg, R Fernandez-Gonzalo, T Gustafsson and PA Tesch
This study tested the hypothesis that chronic aerobic and resistance exercise (AE+RE) would elicit greater muscle hypertrophy than resistance exercise only (RE). Ten men (25 ± 4 yr) performed 5 wk unilateral knee extensor AE+RE. The opposing limb was subjected to RE. AE completed 6 hr prior to RE consisted of ∼45 min one-legged cycle ergometry. RE comprised 4 × 7 maximal concentric-eccentric knee extensions. Various indexes of in vivo knee extensor function were measured before and after training. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessed m. quadricep femoris (QF) cross-sectional area (CSA), volume, and signal intensity (SI). Biopsies obtained from m. vastus lateralis determined fiber CSA, enzyme levels, and gene expression of myostatin, atrogin-1, MuRF-1, PGC-1α, and VEGF. Increases (P < 0.05) in isometric strength and peak power, respectively, were comparable in AE+RE (9 and 29%) and RE (11 and 24%). AE+RE showed greater increase (14%; P < 0.05) in QF volume than RE (8%). Muscle fiber CSA increased 17% after AE+RE (P < 0.05) and 9% after RE (P > 0.05). QF SI increased (12%; P < 0.05) after AE+RE, but not RE. Neither AE+RE nor RE showed altered mRNA levels. Citrate synthase activity increased (P < 0.05) after AE+RE. The results suggest that the increased aerobic capacity shown with AE+RE was accompanied by a more robust increase in muscle size compared with RE. Although this response was not carried over to greater improvement in muscle function, it remains that intense AE can be executed prior to RE without compromising performance outcome.
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