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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 9, pp 1921–1931 | Cite as

Effects of upper-body, lower-body, or combined resistance training on the ratio of follistatin and myostatin in middle-aged men

  • Reza Bagheri
  • Amir RashidlamirEmail author
  • Mohamad S. Motevalli
  • Bradley T. Elliott
  • Javad Mehrabani
  • Alexei Wong
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Due to the mechanistic role of myostatin and follistatin in modulating muscle mass, shifts in the follistatin to myostatin ratio (F:M) may help explain changes in muscular size in response to resistance training (RT). The present study examined whether differential responses in follistatin and myostatin occur based on the amount of active musculature in a RT program in middle-aged men.

Methods

Forty middle-aged men (age = 46.5 ± 3.1 years) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups, upper-body RT (UB; n = 10), lower-body RT (LB; n = 10), combined RT (UB + LB; n = 10) or control (C; n = 10). The training protocol consisted of three exercise sessions per week for 8 weeks. Blood samples were obtained at baseline and 48 h after the final session of the training program.

Results

Muscle mass significantly increased (p < 0.05) following UB = 0.76 ± 0.46 kg, LB = 0.90 ± 0.29 kg, UB + LB = 1.38 ± 0.70 kg, compared to no changes after control. Serum follistatin increased in the LB = 0.24 ± 0.06 ng mL−1, UB = 0.27 ± 0.17 ng mL−1, UB + LB = 0.50 ± 0.18 ng mL−1, while serum myostatin decreased in the LB = − 0.11 ± 0.08 ng mL−1 and UB + LB = − 0.34 ± 0.23 ng mL−1, but not UB = 0.07 ± 0.16 ng mL−1. Further, change in concentration following training was larger between UB + LB and either LB or UB alone for both follistatin and myostatin.

Conclusions

Both UB and LB increase muscle mass and alter the F: M ratio; however, the change in these endocrine markers is approximately twice as large if UB and LB is combined. The endocrine response to RT of myostatin and follistatin may depend on the volume of muscle mass activated during training.

Keywords

Follistatin Myostatin Resistance training Follistatin to myostatin ratio 

Abbreviations

RT

Resistance training

F:M

Follistatin to myostatin ratio

SkMM

Skeletal muscle mass

PBF

Percent body fat

BMI

Body mass index

LBM

Lean body mass

FM

Fat mass

1RM

One repetition maximum

ng mL−1

Nanograms per milliliter

UB

Upper body

LB

Lower body

UB + LB

Upper body + lower body

mL

Milliliter

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

vs

Versus

IGF-1

Insulin-like growth factor 1

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank all the participants in this research project.

Author contributions

AR conceived and designed research. RB conducted the experiments and wrote the paper. AW and JM fixed grammatical mistakes. In addition, AW analyzed data, contributed in writing the paper and preparing revisions. MSM analyzed the nutrition data. BTE analyzed the other data, wrote the result sections and fixed all the section of the paper academically. Finally, all the authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reza Bagheri
    • 1
  • Amir Rashidlamir
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohamad S. Motevalli
    • 1
  • Bradley T. Elliott
    • 2
  • Javad Mehrabani
    • 3
  • Alexei Wong
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Exercise PhysiologyFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  2. 2.Translational Physiology Research Group, School of Life SciencesUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK
  3. 3.Deparment of Exercise Physiology, University of GuilanRashtIran
  4. 4.Department of Health and Human PerformanceMarymount UniversityArlingtonUSA

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