The cTnT response to acute exercise at the onset of an endurance training program: evidence of exercise preconditioning?

  • Haifeng Zhang
  • Jinlei NieEmail author
  • Zhaowei Kong
  • Wenling Cao
  • Xiangui Zhu
  • Ziwei Zheng
  • Keith George
Original Article



Exercise induces a cardioprotective effect referred to as “preconditioning”. Whether the preconditioning impacts upon the cardiac troponin T (cTnT) response to subsequent exercise bouts is unclear. This study investigated the effects of an initial exercise bout, a second exercise bout 48 h later, as well as subsequent exercise every 48 h for 4 days or a single identical exercise bout after 8 days of inactivity gap on cTnT response to acute exercise.


Twenty-eight sedentary overweight young women were randomly assigned to either six bouts of exercise each separated by 48 h or three bouts of exercise with 48 h between the first two bouts and 8 days between the second and third bouts. All exercise bouts were identical (60% \(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_{2{\rm max} }}\), 200 kJ) and the total testing period (10 days) was the same for both groups. cTnT was assessed before and after the 1st, 2nd, and final exercise bouts.


cTnT increased (129%, P < 0.05) after the first bout of exercise in both groups (peak post-exercise cTnT, median [range], ng l−1: 3.43[< 3.00−27.26]) with no between-group differences in the response. The second exercise bout had no significant (P > 0.05) effect on post-exercise cTnT (< 3.00[< 3.00−21.96]). The final exercise bout resulted in an increase (190%, P < 0.05) in cTnT (4.35[< 3.00−13.05]) in both groups.


A single bout exercise resulted in a temporary blunting of cTnT response to acute exercise 48 h later. The effect of exercise preconditioning was not preserved, regardless of whether followed by repeated exercise every 48 h or a cessation of exercise for 8 days.


Cardiac troponin T Cardiac biomarker Endurance exercise Exercise preconditioning 



Three repeated bouts of exercise


Six repeated bouts of exercise


Analysis of variance


Cardiac troponin


Cardiac troponin I


Cardiac troponin T


Cardiovascular disease


Heart rate


Rating of perceived exertion

\(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_{2{\rm max} }}\)

Maximal oxygen uptake



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31771319).

Author contributions

HZ, JN, ZK and KG conceived and designed research. HZ, JN, ZK, WC, XZ and ZZ conducted experiments. HZ, JN, ZK and KG analyzed data. HZ, JN, ZK and KG wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physical Education CollegeHebei Normal UniversityShijiazhuangChina
  2. 2.Provincial Key Lab of Measurement and Evaluation in Human Movement and Bio-InformationShijiazhuangChina
  3. 3.School of Physical Education and SportsMacao Polytechnic InstituteMacaoChina
  4. 4.Faculty of EducationUniversity of MacauMacaoChina
  5. 5.Research Institute for Sport and Exercise SciencesLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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