Int J Sports Med 1995; 16(5): 322-328
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-973013

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Acute Immune Response to Exhaustive Resistance Exercise

D. C. Nieman1 , D. A. Henson1 , C. S. Sampson1 , J. L. Herring1 , J. Suttles2 , M. Conley1 , M. H. Stone1 , D. E. Butterworth1 , J. M. Davis3
  • 1Departments of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science; Biology; Appalachian State University
  • 2Department of Biochemistry, James H. Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University
  • 3Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina
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09. März 2007 (online)

Ten young male adults (mean age 46.9 ± 1.2 yrs) with 9.2 ± 1.4 years of weight training experience and the ability to parallel squat at least 1.5 times their body mass were selected as subjects. The exercise session consisted of sets of 10 repetitions at 65 % 1-RM of the parallel leg squat, with a cadence of one rep every 6 sec and 3 min rest between sets, to muscular failure. The average subject lifted a total of 9711 ± 1576 kg during 98 ± 14 reps for a total work output of 72.5 ± 10.5 kJ before muscular failure occurred. Mean oxygen consumption during exercise was 1.58 ± 0.06 l/min at 42.5 ± 2.0 % peak VO2. A strong leukocytosis, lymphocytosis, and lymphocytopenia, similar to what has been reported following high-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise, were measured following leg squat exercise. Con A-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation (unadjusted) rose 50 % above preexercise levels (p = 0.07), but when these data were adjusted on a per T cell (CD3+) basis, no change from rest was observed. Natural killer cell cytotoxic activity (NKCA), when adjusted on a per NK cell (CD56+) basis, was decreased about 40 % below preexercise levels for at least 2 h post-exercise. No significant increase in Cortisol was seen after exercise, although norepinephrine and epinephrine increased moderately (465 % and 133 %, respectively), immediately following exercise. The data demonstrate that leg squat exercise to muscular failure results in a very similar immune response to that associated with intense endurance exercise, despite a lower mean oxygen consumption and only a moderate hormonal response.