New Study Finds Muscles Trained with Weights and Resistance are Genetically Different
A groundbreaking study conducted by researchers from the University of Basel has found that muscles trained with weights and resistance are genetically different from untrained ones. Furthermore, these trained muscles respond better to physical stimuli.
The study, led by Professor Christoph Handschin, aimed to understand the molecular changes that occur in muscles during physical training. The researchers compared the muscles of sedentary mice with those of mice that were subjected to a resistance training program. They analyzed the differences in gene expression between the two groups.
The findings, published in the scientific journal Nature Metabolism, revealed that the gene expression in trained muscles at rest was significantly different from that of untrained muscles. The number and type of genes that responded to exercise depended on the training state of the muscles. In untrained muscles, intense exercise activated pro-inflammatory genes, leading to the classic post-workout muscle soreness. However, this inflammatory response was not observed in mice that underwent regular training. Instead, their muscles showed increased activity of protective and antioxidant genes, making them more efficient and resilient. Trained muscles were able to withstand physical load better and recover more quickly.
The researchers discovered that the key to these genetic differences lies in epigenetics, the chemical modifications of DNA that can turn the expression of certain genes on or off. The epigenetic pattern in trained muscles differed significantly from that of untrained muscles. Exercise activated a different program in trained muscles, allowing them to respond more efficiently to physical stress. With each training session, muscle endurance increases.
These findings have important implications for both sports and medical fields. In sports, biomarkers that reflect training progress could be used to improve the effectiveness of training programs. In the medical field, understanding how healthy muscles work can help in the development of treatments for age- or disease-related muscle atrophy.
The researchers are now seeking to determine whether these results obtained from a mouse model can be translated to human physiology. If confirmed, this discovery could revolutionize the way we approach fitness and physical training, and pave the way for innovative treatments for muscle-related conditions.
Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these genetic differences and their potential applications in human health. Nevertheless, this study provides fascinating insights into the physiological adaptations that occur in muscles during training and opens up exciting possibilities for future interventions.