Acute and chronic immune responses to 12 weeks of either 3 consecutive or non-consecutive days of resistance training per week

Project Number
RI 5/14 YYF

Project Duration
November 2015 - November 2018


The objectives of this research are to: 1) characterise the acute and chronic immune responses to 12 weeks of resistance training (RT), i.e. lifting weights, performed over either 3 consecutive or non-consecutive days a week, 2) investigate the acute and chronic effects of recovery period between resistance exercise (RE) sessions on immune responses, and 3) to determine if 3 consecutive days of RE per week induce similar changes in body composition and strength following 12 weeks of RT compared to 3 non-consecutive days of RE per week. Thirty young, healthy men will be recruited and randomly assigned to 12 weeks of RT of either 3 consecutive or nonconsecutive days (48-72 hours apart) of RE per week. The exercise programme will be the same for both groups with the only difference being the recovery period between sessions. Selected markers of the immune system in the saliva and blood will be measured at selected time points before the 1st (untrained) and 34th (trained) RE sessions, and after the 3rd and 36th (last) RE sessions. Worldwide, the health benefits of regular physical activity are well recognised and various health authorities have issued physical activity guidelines for the public and those with health conditions, such as cancer. However, important gaps remain. This will be the first study to investigate 1) the acute and chronic effects of consecutive days of RE on the immune system and 2) the effect of recovery period between RE sessions on the immune system. In addition, this study will enhance our limited understanding of the acute and chronic immune responses to repeated bouts of RE. The PI is interested in using exercise and nutrition in the management of health conditions related to the skeletal muscle, including cancer-induced muscle wasting. However, we must first understand the typical immune responses to exercise in healthy adults before we can understand if immune responses in cancer patients to exercise are different. Results from this research will contribute to the global knowledge base in exercise immunology and exercise prescription for healthy individuals and those with a chronic health condition. This research is a continuation of a previous final year project conducted in NIE, which monitored the daily immune responses to 5 consecutive days of RE in young, healthy men. Furthermore, we can raise the quality of our PE teachers by equipping them with updated evidence-based knowledge.

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