Progressive resistance training reduces myosin heavy chain coexpression in single muscle fibers from older men

David L. Williamson, Michael P. Godard, David A. Porter, David L. Costill, Scott W. Trappe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine myosin heavy chain (MHC) and myosin light chain (MLC) isoforms following 12 wk of progressive resistance training (PRT). A needle biopsy was taken from the vastus lateralis to determine fiber-type expression [ATPase (pH 4.54) and MHC/MLC] in seven healthy men (age = 74.0 ± 1.8 yr). Subjects were also tested for 1- repetition maximum (1-RM), pre- and posttraining. The progressive knee extensor protocol consisted of three sets at 80% of 1-RM 3 days/wk for 12 wk. Freeze-dried, single muscle fibers were dissected for MHC and MLC analysis and then subjected to SDS-PAGE and silver staining, pre- and posttraining. MHC expression increased in the I (10.4%; P < 0.05) and decreased in I/IIa (9.0%; P < 0.05), I/IIa/x (0.9%; P < 0.05), and IIa/x (8.9%; P < 0.05) isoforms, with no change in the IIa and IIx isoforms, pre- vs. posttraining (total fibers = 3,059). The MLC(3f)-to-MLC2 ratio did not change with the PRT in either the MHC I or MHC IIa isoforms (total fibers = 902), pre- to posttraining. ATPase fiber distribution did not significantly differ following training (I: 50.4 ± 6.7 vs. 51.9 ± 7.9, IIa: 36.8 ± 5.3 vs. 41.1 ± 7.0, IIb: 12.8 ± 5.6 vs. 7.0 ± 4.0%; pre- vs. posttraining, respectively). 1-RM increased (51.9%; P < 0.05) from pre- to posttraining. The PRT provide a stimulus for alterations in MHC isoforms, which demonstrated a decrease in all hybrid isoforms and an increase in MHC I expression (not found in the ATPase results), unlike the MLC ratio (3:2), which was not altered with training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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