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Serum and urinary markers of skeletal muscle tissue damage after weight lifting exercise

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether high intensity weight lifting exercise produces elevations of urinary 3-methylhistidine (3-MH), serum creatine kinase activity (CK), and serum myoglobin concentration (MY), and whether trained weight lifters differed in such responses when compared to a group of untrained subjects. Ten experienced male weight lifters (EWL) and seven untrained male subjects (IWL) performed three sets of six weight lifting exercises at 70%–80% of 1 RM. All subjects consumed a meat-free diet. The 3-MH:creatinine (3-MH:CR) values decreased 24 h and 48 h following exercise (P<0.05). The 12-h and 24-h postexercise CK response and the 12-h postexercise MY response increased for both EWL and IWL (P<0.05). However, EWL had a lower 24-h postexercise CK response and lower 12-h and 24-h postexercise MY responses compared to IWL (P<0.05). Within 48 h following weight lifting exercise, skeletal muscle protein degradation (as assessed by 3-MH:CR values) decreased regardless of prior training experience whereas skeletal muscle tissue damage (as assessed by CK and MY responses) increased. However, prior weight lifting training appeared to diminish the extent of muscle tissue damage.

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Correspondence to G. L. Paul.

Additional information

This study was supported in part by Ross Laboratories, Columbus, Ohio and Rax Restaurants, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Paul, G.L., DeLany, J.P., Snook, J.T. et al. Serum and urinary markers of skeletal muscle tissue damage after weight lifting exercise. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 58, 786–790 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00637392

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Key words

  • Weight lifting
  • Creatine kinase
  • Myoglobin
  • 3-methylhistidine