Muscle Hypertrophy in Prediabetic Men After 16 Wk of Resistance Training

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Resistance training of healthy young men typically results in muscle hypertrophy and a shift in vastus lateralis composition away from type IIx fibers to an increase in IIa fiber content. Our previous studies of 8 wk of resistance training found that many metabolic syndrome men and women paradoxically increased IIx fibers with a decrease in IIa fibers. To confirm the hypothesis that obese subjects might have muscle remodeling after resistance training very different from healthy lean subjects, we subjected a group of nine obese male volunteers to progressive resistance training for a total of 16 wk. In these studies, weight loss was discouraged so that muscle changes would be attributed to the training alone. Detailed assessments included comparisons of histological examinations of needle biopsies of vastus lateralis muscle pretraining and at 8 and 16 wk. Prolonging the training from 8 to 16 wk resulted in increased strength, improved body composition, and more muscle fiber hypertrophy, but euglycemic clamp-quantified insulin responsiveness did not improve. Similar to prior studies, muscle fiber composition shifted toward more fast-twitch type IIx fibers (23 to 42%). Eight weeks of resistance training increased the muscle expression of phosphorylated Akt2 and mTOR. Muscle GLUT4 expression increased, although insulin receptor and IRS-1 expression did not change. We conclude that resistance training of prediabetic obese subjects is effective at changing muscle, resulting in fiber hypertrophy and increased type IIx fiber content, and these changes continue up to 16 wk of training.