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Biochemical adaptation of human skeletal muscle to heavy resistance training and immobilization.


Nine healthy subjects were studied under control conditions and following 5 mo of heavy resistance training and 5 wk of immobilization in elbow casts. Needle biopsies were taken from triceps brachii and analyzed for adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), creatine (C), creatine phosphate (CP, and glycogen concentrations. Training resulted in an 11% increase in arm circumference and a 28% increase in maximal elbow extension strength. Immobilization resulted in decreases in arm circumference and elbow extension strength of 5% and 35%, respectively. Training also resulted in significant increases in resting concentrations of muscle creatine (by 39%), CP (by 22%), ATP (by 18%), and glycogen (by 66%). Conversely, immobilization significantly reduced CP concentration by 25% and glycogen concentration by 40%. It was concluded that heavy-resistance training results in increases in muscle energy reserves which may be reversed by a period of immobilization-induced disuse.

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