Muscle glycogenolysis during weight-resistance exercise

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Robergs, Robert A.
Costill, David L.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Human Performance Laboratory
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Skeletal muscle glycogenolysis was investigated in eight subjects during both high (HI) (70% 1 RM) and low (LO) intensity (35% 1 RM) leg extension weight-resistance exercise. Total force application to the machine lever arm was determined and equated between trials via a strain gauge and computer interfaced system. After the sixth set, muscle glycogen degradation was similar in the HI and LO trials (46.9 ± 6.6 and 46.6 ± 6.0 mmol•kg-1 wet wt, respectively), with the LO trial characterized by almost double the repetitions (6.0 and 12.7 ± 1.1) and half the peak concentric torque per repetition (24.2 ± 1.0 and 12.4 ± 0.5). After the sixth set, muscle lactate accumulation was also similar (13.8 ± 0.7 and 16.7 ± 4.2 mmol•kg-1 wet wt for HI and LO trials, respectively). After two hours of passive recovery with no feedings, muscle glycogen storage during the HI and LO trials was 22.2 (±6.8) and 14.2 (±2.5) mmol•kg-1 wet wt, respectively These values represented glycogen synthesis rates of 11.1 (±3.4) and 7.1 (±1.3) mmol•kg-1 •hr-1 , and occurred without significant increases in blood glucose relative to resting concentrations. Optical absorbance measurement of PAS stained muscle sections revealed no differences in the glycogen content of fast (FT) and slow twitch (ST) fibers between trials. When data from each trial were combined, declines in absorbance were larger in FT than ST fibers after the sixth set (0.356 ± 0.048) than in slow twitch fibers (0.222 ± 0.039, p < 0.05). The increase in absorbanceduring the two hour recovery was also larger in FT than ST fibers (0.119 ± 0.024 and 0.055 ± 0.024, p < 0.05). When total force application was constant, muscle glycogenolysis was the same regardless of the intensity of resistance exercise. Glycogenolysis was greater in fast twitch fibers, as was glycogen storage during the immediate post-exercise recovery. The relatively high rate of glycogen synthesis after exercise may be evidence of glycogenesis from intramuscular metabolites.