Resistance exercise training and in vitro skeletal muscle oxidative capacity in older adults

Kyle D. Flack, Brenda M. Davy, Martin DeBerardinis, Nabil E. Boutagy, Ryan P. McMillan, Matthew W. Hulver, Madlyn I. Frisard, Angela S. Anderson, Jyoti Savla, Kevin P. Davy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Whether resistance exercise training (RET) improves skeletal muscle substrate oxidative capacity and reduces mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species in older adults remains unclear. To address this, 19 older males (≥60 years) were randomized to a RET (n = 11) or to a waitlist control group (n = 8) that remained sedentary for 12 weeks. RET was comprised of three upper body and four lower body movements on resistance machines. One set of 8–12 repetitions to failure of each movement was performed on three nonconsecutive days/week. Improvements in chest press and leg press strength were assessed using a three-repetition maximum (3 RM). Body composition was assessed via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle at baseline and at both 3 weeks and 12 weeks. Palmitate and pyruvate oxidation rates were measured from the 14CO2 produced from [1-14C] palmitic acid and [U-14C] pyruvate, respectively, during incubation of muscle homogenates. PGC-1α, TFAM, and PPARδ levels were quantified using qRT-PCR. Citrate synthase (CS) and β-HAD activities were determined spectrophotometrically. Mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were assessed using the Amplex Red Hydrogen Peroxide/Peroxidase assay. There were no significant changes in body weight or body composition following the intervention. Chest press and leg press strength (3RM) increased ~34% (both P < 0.01) with RET. There were no significant changes in pyruvate or fatty acid oxidation or in the expression of target genes with the intervention. There was a modest increase (P < 0.05) in βHAD activity with RET at 12 weeks but the change in CS enzyme activity was not significant. In addition, there were no significant changes in ROS production in either group following RET. Taken together, the findings of this study suggest that 12 weeks of low volume RET does not increase skeletal muscle oxidative capacity or reduce ROS production in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12849
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.


  • Metabolism
  • mitochondria
  • oxidative damage
  • strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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