News & Views from the Editor-in-Chief - L. Bruce Gladden
Our journal continues to publish outstanding research studies, and as usual, I am highlighting three of them this month. First, Moberg and colleagues explored the hypothesis that human skeletal muscle has a molecular "memory" for strength training. In their study, 19 women and men who were naïve to resistance training, trained one leg for 10 wk, followed by 20 wk of detraining. Then, basal and exercise-induced gene expression and protein signaling were analyzed in the vastus lateralis after an acute resistance exercise bout in both the control and the previously trained leg. They found differential expression of several phosphorylated proteins and genes between legs, both at rest and after exercise. These data indicated that the previously trained leg had a greater oxidative capacity as well as a greater capacity for protein synthesis and muscle remodeling. Collectively the study supports the view of a molecular "muscle memory" in response to training.
Second, Pareja-Blanco and coworkers compared the effects of four 8-wk resistance training programs (full squat at 70%–85% of one repetition maximum at maximal velocity) differing only in the velocity loss (VL) allowed within the set [0% (VL0), 10% (VL10), 20% (VL20) and 40% (VL40)]. Strength, neuromuscular, muscle hypertrophy, and muscle architecture adaptations in response to the training were assessed. They found: 1) no between-group differences regarding gains in strength despite the differences in total training volume (repetitions) among groups (VL0: 48.0 ± 0.0; VL10: 143.6 ± 40.2; VL20: 168.5 ± 47.4; VL40: 305.6 ± 81.7); 2) an increased muscle hypertrophy with the higher VL losses (VL20 and VL40); although 3) VL40 induced negative neuromuscular adaptations. These results support the notion that moderate velocity loss training regimens (e.g., VL20) may be best to maximize strength and hypertrophy adaptations without eliciting negative neuromuscular responses.
Finally, Al-Shaar et al. examined physical activity (PA) in relation to mortality among 1,651 male survivors of myocardial infarction (MI) in a long-term prospective study of US Men age 40–75 at baseline in 1986. Higher levels of moderate to vigorous intensity PA in the years leading up to the MI led to longer survival post MI. Men with an increase in PA from pre- to post-MI also had a longer survival as compared to men who remained sedentary. Walking for 2.5 h∙wk−1 or more post-MI had a survival benefit independent of walking pace. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining regular PA throughout adult life and encourage people to engage in PA both before and after MI (in consultation with their healthcare providers).
L. Bruce Gladden
School of Kinesiology