Resistance exercise maintains skeletal muscle protein synthesis during bed rest

Academic Article


  • Spaceflight results in a loss of lean body mass and muscular strength. A ground-based model for microgravity, bed rest, results in a loss of lean body mass due to a decrease in muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Resistance training is suggested as a proposed countermeasure for spaceflight-induced atrophy because it is known to increase both MPS and skeletal muscle strength. We therefore hypothesized that scheduled resistance training throughout bed rest would ameliorate the decrease in MPS. Two groups of healthy volunteers were studied during 14 days of simulated microgravity. One group adhered to strict bed rest (BR; n = 5), whereas a second group engaged in leg resistance exercise every other day throughout bed rest (BREx; n = 6). MPS was determined directly by the incorporation of infused L-[ring- 13C6]phenylalanine into vastus lateralis protein. After 14 days of bed rest, MPS in the BREx group did not change and was significantly greater than in the BR group. Thus moderate-resistance exercise can counteract the decrease in MPS during bed rest.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ferrando AA; Tipton KD; Bamman MM; Wolfe RR
  • Start Page

  • 807
  • End Page

  • 810
  • Volume

  • 82
  • Issue

  • 3