Acute molecular responses to concurrent resistance and high-intensity interval exercise in untrained skeletal muscle

Jamie K Pugh, Steve H Faulkner, Andrew P Jackson, James A King, Myra A Nimmo

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26 Citations (Scopus)
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Concurrent training involving resistance and endurance exercise may augment the benefits of single-mode training for the purpose of improving health. However, muscle adaptations, associated with resistance exercise, may be blunted by a subsequent bout of endurance exercise, via molecular interference. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), generating similar adaptations to endurance exercise, may offer an alternative exercise mode to traditional endurance exercise. This study examined the influence of an acute HIIT session on the molecular responses following resistance exercise in untrained skeletal muscle. Ten male participants performed resistance exercise (4 × 8 leg extensions, 70% 1RM, (RE)) or RE followed by HIIT (10 × 1 min at 90% HRmax, (RE+HIIT)). Muscle biopsies were collected from the vastus lateralis before, 2 and 6 h post-RE to determine intramuscular protein phosphorylation and mRNA responses. Phosphorylation of Akt (Ser(473)) decreased at 6 h in both trials (P < 0.05). Phosphorylation of mTOR (Ser(2448)) was higher in RE+HIIT (P < 0.05). All PGC-1α mRNA variants increased at 2 h in RE+HIIT with PGC-1α and PGC-1α-ex1b remaining elevated at 6 h, whereas RE-induced increases at 2 and 6 h for PGC-1α-ex1b only (P < 0.05). Myostatin expression decreased at 2 and 6 h in both trials (P < 0.05). MuRF-1 was elevated in RE+HIIT versus RE at 2 and 6 h (P < 0.05). Atrogin-1 was lower at 2 h, with FOXO3A downregulated at 6 h (P < 0.05). These data do not support the existence of an acute interference effect on protein signaling and mRNA expression, and suggest that HIIT may be an alternative to endurance exercise when performed after resistance exercise in the same training session to optimize adaptations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12364
JournalPhysiological reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.


  • acute responses
  • cellular signaling interference
  • concurrent exercise
  • high-intensity interval training
  • human skeletal muscle


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