Daily Archives: August 21, 2010

A primary research paper has just changed my gym routine

ResearchBlogging.orgMy lab dabbles in mTOR work so I pretty regularly scan pubmed for new papers with mTOR in the title or abstract. Its a fast moving field so there’s lots to keep up with and usually 20-30 new papers out for each of my saturday morning mTOR searches. This morning I stumbled upon this little gem:
Burd et al., PLoS One Low-load high volume resistance exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis more than high-load low volume resistance exercise in young men.
Now, I’m no exercise physiologist so I’m not going to go into details on the background of the work but I do know enough to know that stimulating protein synthesis in muscles through weight training is your goal. This builds muscle mass, makes you stronger/faster — all those reasons that we go to the gym in the first place. The question is how best to do that. mTOR, for those that don’t know, is a kinase involved in regulating protein synthesis. Its a complicated cascade but the basics are that stimulating mTOR in a cell type leads to more protein synthesis. If a specific type of exercise stimulates mTOR activity, this is probably a good thing to achieving results from your workout. In the paper they had young men do three types of exercise (on a leg extension machine): 1) low rep / high weight, 2) medium rep / medium weight and 3) low weight / high rep. In a nutshell, they found that low weight / high rep was the best way to go to stimulate mTOR in muscle fibers. So what does this mean?
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