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The reported benefits underlying the importance of regular resistance exercise (RE) drive numerous national health organizations to recommend at least 2-3 days per week of RE, preferably spread 48-72 h apart to improve muscle strength and size. However, given the current recommendation for 3-5 days per week of aerobic exercise, the busy lifestyle of working individuals, and/or training schedule of elite athletes, it is inevitable that a portion of these individuals perform RE on consecutive days. Recommendations for the recovery period in between RE sessions from current guidelines stem from studies that examined molecular and cellular responses on muscle hypertrophy and strength, yet the influence of recovery period on cytokines and red blood cell (RBC) parameters remains unclear. Therefore, this study seeks to explore the acute cytokines and RBC responses to RE when performed on 3 non-consecutive (NC) or consecutive (C) days in recreationally active men.
Thirty healthy, recreationally active young males were randomized to 3 NC (~48-72 h between sessions) or 3 C (~24 h between sessions) days of RE in a week. For each RE session, both groups performed 3 sets x 10 repetitions x 10- repetition maximum (RM) of leg press, latissimus pulldown, leg curl, shoulder press, and leg extension. Cytokines [Chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), Fractalkine (CX3CL1), Interleukin-8 (CXCL8), Interferon (IFN)-γ, and Tumor Necrosis Factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK)] were measured at Pre-RE, 0 h, 1 h and 24 h post-3rd RE, while RBC parameters [RBC count, hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), mean cell volume (MCV), and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC)] were measured at Pre, 0 h, and 24 h post-3rd RE. Analysis was done using (time x group) mixed repeated measures ANOVA or Aligned Rank Transformation ANOVA.
Both groups were similar in age [mean 25 (SD 2) years], height [1.72 (0.06) m], body mass [65 (10) kg], BMI [22.2 (2.7) kg·m2 ], systolic and diastolic blood pressure [114 (5)/ 69 (8) mmHg], fasting glucose [4.5 (0.3) mmol·L-1 ], and physical activity level [2144 (1428) MET-min·week
Acute C days of RE does not have any detrimental effect on cytokines and RBC parameters compared to NC days of RE. Respectively, the parameters reviewed are a reflection of the immune system and health indices. This study is significant as the findings would provide further evidence in the consideration of recovery period for exercise guidelines.
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