Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Sport Physiology and Performance

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jeremey Gentles

Committee Members

Michelle Duffourc, Caleb Bazyler, Michael Ramsey


The primary purposes of this dissertation were to explore relationship between cell free DNA (cf-DNA), creatine kinase (CK), C-reactive protein (CRP), vertical jump testing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in response to a high-volume resistance training protocol, and to assess the sensitivity of cf-DNA to different resistance training volume loads. The secondary purpose was to examine the relationship between cf-DNA and relative strength. Study 1 was an exploratory attempt to discover relationships between cf-DNA, CK, CRP, delayed onset muscle soreness, and performance variables. Seventeen resistance trained males were recruited, 9 were randomly assigned to receive BCAAs while 8 received a placebo. Participants performed a high-volume resistance training session consisting of the back squat and bench press. Blood was drawn to measure serum cf-DNA, CK, and CRP levels prior to the training session, with cf-DNA collected immediately post, and CK and CRP at 24hr and 48hrs post. Self-reported DOMS on a scale of 1 to 10 was collected prior to training on day 2, day 3, and day 4. SJH, CMJH, and BOSCO were collected on day 1, day 3, and day 4. Fifty-seven correlations were run to explore the relationships between variables. Only the correlation between %Δ DOMS 48hr and %Δ CRP 48hr in the non-supplement group was significant (p = 0.02). The second study, designed to assess the sensitivity of cf-DNA to different resistance training volume loads, consisted of a high-volume resistance training protocol. Blood was drawn immediately before the resistance training session (T1), immediately after the third lifting set (T2), and immediately after the sixth lifting set (T3). cf-DNA increased significantly from T1 to T2 (p < 0.01) and T1 to T3 (p < 0.01). The linear regression model used to examine the capabilities of relative strength to predict %Δ cf-DNA from T1 to T3 was significant (p = 0.04). The results of this study demonstrate the short response time of cf-DNA in relation to variations in resistance training volume-load, suggesting it may be a valuable marker in monitoring the immune response to volume-load. Results also demonstrated the positive relationship between relative strength and %Δ cf-DNA.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


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