Maintenance of myoglobin concentration in human skeletal muscle after heavy resistance training


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of 8 weeks of resistance training (RT) on the myoglobin concentration ([Mb]) in human skeletal muscle, and to compare the change in the [Mb] in two different RT protocols. The two types of protocol used were interval RT (IRT) of moderate to low intensity with a high number of repetitions and a short recovery time, and repetition RT (RRT) of high intensity with a low number of repetitions and a long recovery time. A group of 11 healthy male adults voluntarily participated in this study and were divided into IRT (n = 6) and RRT (n = 5) groups. Both training protocols were carried out twice a week for 8 weeks. At the completion of the training period, the one-repetition maximal force values and isometric force were increased significantly in all the subjects, by about 38.8% and 26.0%, respectively (P < 0.01). The muscle fibre composition was unchanged by the 8 weeks of training. The muscle fibre cross-sectional areas were increased significantly by both types of training in all fibre types (I, IIa and IIb, mean +16.1%, P < 0.05). The [Mb] showed no significant changes at the completion of the training [IRT from 4.63 (SD 0.63) to 4.48 (SD 0.72), RRT from 4.47 (SD 0.75) to 4.24 (SD 0.80) mg · g−1 wet tissue] despite a significant decrease in citrate synthase activity [IRT from 5.27 (SD 1.45) to 4.49 (SD 1.48), RRT from 5.33 (SD 2.09) to 4.85 (SD 1.87) μmol · min−1 · g−1 wet tissue; P < 0.05] observed after both protocols. These results suggested that myoglobin and mitochondria enzymes were regulated by different mechanisms in response to either type of RT. Moreover, the maintained [Mb] in hypertrophied muscle should preserve oxygen transport from capillaries to mitochondria even when diffusion distance is increased.

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Accepted: 22 October 1998

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Masuda, K., Choi, J., Shimojo, H. et al. Maintenance of myoglobin concentration in human skeletal muscle after heavy resistance training. Eur J Appl Physiol 79, 347–352 (1999).

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  • Key words Citrate synthase activity
  • Human
  • Myoglobin concentration
  • Protocols
  • Resistance training
  • Vastus lateralis muscle