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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Mar;113(3):641-50. doi: 10.1007/s00421-012-2466-x. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Resistance training induced increase in muscle fiber size in young and older men.

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Department of Biology of Physical Activity and Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä, PO Box 35, 40351 Jyväskylä, Finland.


Muscle strength and mass decline in sedentary individuals with aging. The present study investigated the effects of both age and 21 weeks of progressive hypertrophic resistance training (RT) on skeletal muscle size and strength, and on myostatin and myogenin mRNA expression in 21 previously untrained young men (26.0 ± 4.3 years) and 18 older men (61.2 ± 4.1 years) and age-matched controls. Vastus lateralis muscle biopsies were taken before and after RT. Type I and type II muscle fiber cross-sectional areas increased more in young men than in older men after RT (P < 0.05). Concentric leg extension increased (P < 0.05) more after 10.5 weeks in young men compared to older men, but after 21 weeks no statistical differences existed. The daily energy and protein intake were greater (P < 0.001) in young subjects. Both myostatin and myogenin mRNA expression increased in older when compared with young men after RT (P < 0.05). In conclusion, after RT, muscle fiber size increased less in older compared to young men. This was associated with lower protein and energy intake and increases in myostatin gene expression in older when compared to young men.

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