Molecular Differences in Skeletal Muscle After 1 Week of Active vs. Passive Recovery From High-Volume Resistance Training


<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Vann, CG, Haun, CT, Osburn, SC, Romero, MA, Roberson, PA, Mumford, PW, Mobley, CB, Holmes, HM, Fox, CD, Young, KC, and Roberts, MD. Molecular differences in skeletal muscle after 1 week of active vs. passive recovery from high-volume resistance training. <jats:italic toggle="yes">J Strength Cond Res</jats:italic> 35(8): 2102–2113, 2021—Numerous studies have evaluated how deloading after resistance training (RT) affects strength and power outcomes. However, the molecular adaptations that occur after deload periods remain understudied. Trained, college-aged men (<jats:italic toggle="yes">n</jats:italic> = 30) performed 6 weeks of whole-body RT starting at 10 sets of 10 repetitions per exercise per week and finishing at 32 sets of 10 repetitions per exercise per week. After this period, subjects performed either active (AR; <jats:italic toggle="yes">n</jats:italic> = 16) or passive recovery (PR; <jats:italic toggle="yes">n</jats:italic> = 14) for 1 week where AR completed ∼15% of the week 6 training volume and PR ceased training. Variables related to body composition and recovery examined before RT (PRE), after 6 weeks of RT (POST), and after the 1-week recovery period (DL). Vastus lateralis (VL) muscle biopsies and blood samples were collected at each timepoint, and various biochemical and histological assays were performed. Group × time interactions (<jats:italic toggle="yes">p</jats:italic> < 0.05) existed for skeletal muscle myosin heavy chain (MHC)-IIa mRNA (AR > PR at POST and DL) and 20S proteasome activity (post-hoc tests revealed no significance in groups over time). Time effects (<jats:italic toggle="yes">P</jats:italic> < 0.05) existed for total mood disturbance and serum creatine kinase and mechano growth factor mRNA (POST > PRE &D L), VL pressure to pain threshold and MHC-IIx mRNA (PRE&DL > POST), Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 mRNA (PRE < POST < DL), MHC-I mRNA (PRE < POST & DL), myostatin mRNA (PRE & POST < DL), and mechanistic target of rapamycin (PRE > POST & DL). No interactions or time effects were observed for barbell squat velocity, various hormones, histological metrics, polyubiquitinated proteins, or phosphorylated/pan protein levels of 4E-BP1, p70S6k, and AMPK. One week of AR after a high-volume training block instigates marginal molecular differences in skeletal muscle relative to PR. From a practical standpoint, however, both paradigms elicited largely similar responses.</jats:p>






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Publication Info

Vann, Christopher G, Cody T Haun, Shelby C Osburn, Matthew A Romero, Paul A Roberson, Petey W Mumford, C Brooks Mobley, Hudson M Holmes, et al. (2021). Molecular Differences in Skeletal Muscle After 1 Week of Active vs. Passive Recovery From High-Volume Resistance Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 35(8). pp. 2102–2113. 10.1519/jsc.0000000000004071 Retrieved from

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Christopher Vann

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Vann is an exercise physiologist with a research focus centered in skeletal muscle physiology. His research focuses on elucidating mechanisms of tissue-to-tissue crosstalk and understanding how exercise-induced changes in epigenetic, genetic, and protein-level factors relate to health and performance outcomes across the age span. As rates of obesity, cardiometabolic disease, and sarcopenia increase in the U.S., Dr. Vann's research is centered on understanding the role of exercise in improved health outcomes at the molecular level and applying this knowledge to develop precise evidence based exercise interventions.

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