Satellite cell response to concurrent resistance exercise and high-intensity interval training in sedentary, overweight/obese, middle-aged individuals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • Loughborough University
  • Nottingham Trent University


PURPOSE: Sarcopenia can begin from the 4-5th decade of life and is exacerbated by obesity and inactivity. A combination of resistance exercise (RE) and endurance exercise is recommended to combat rising obesity and inactivity levels. However, work continues to elucidate whether interference in adaptive outcomes occur when RE and endurance exercise are performed concurrently. This study examined whether a single bout of concurrent RE and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) alters the satellite cell response following exercise compared to RE alone.

METHODS: Eight sedentary, overweight/obese, middle-aged individuals performed RE only (8 × 8 leg extensions at 70% 1RM), or RE + HIIT (10 × 1 min at 90% HRmax on a cycle ergometer). Muscle biopsies were collected from the vastus lateralis before and 96 h after the RE component to determine muscle fiber type-specific total (Pax7(+) cells) and active (MyoD(+) cells) satellite cell number using immunofluorescence microscopy.

RESULTS: Type-I-specific Pax7(+) (P = 0.001) cell number increased after both exercise trials. Type-I-specific MyoD(+) (P = 0.001) cell number increased after RE only. However, an elevated baseline value in RE + HIIT compared to RE (P = 0.046) was observed, with no differences between exercise trials at 96 h (P = 0.21). Type-II-specific Pax7(+) and MyoD(+) cell number remained unchanged after both exercise trials (all P ≥ 0.13).

CONCLUSION: Combining a HIIT session after a single bout of RE does not interfere with the increase in type-I-specific total, and possibly active, satellite cell number, compared to RE only. Concurrent RE + HIIT may offer a time-efficient way to maximise the physiological benefits from a single bout of exercise in sedentary, overweight/obese, middle-aged individuals.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-238
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Early online date25 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Concurrent exercise, Resistance exercise, High-intensity interval training, Obesity , Acute responses , Interference, Satellite cell, mRNA expression , Human skeletal muscle

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