Muscle strength is an important capacity for health and sports performance. It is well known that strength training (ST) is an important way to improve muscle strength and promote hypertrophy. Recent studies show that responses to ST are highly variable between subjects, as participants of similar characteristics undergoing the same training regimen display remarkably variability in strength and hypertrophy gains. Individual responses to ST are dependents on extrinsic factors such as total daily protein intake, and training characteristics. On the other hand, intrinsic factors are also known to influence ST responsiveness. Among these, genetics is thought to play a major role. In particular, common polymorphisms (i.e., changes in DNA sequence that account for phenotypical differences between subjects) appear to explain part of the genetic influence on training responsiveness. Although several polymorphisms have been associated with muscle strength and muscle mass, there is a paucity of data showing polygenic profiles (i.e., a group of polymorphisms) that display sufficient association with ST responses that can be used to predict them. The goal of this study identifies polygenic profiles which are associated with improvements in muscle strength and muscle hypertrophy in response to a ST program. To that end, 150 young healthy physically active men with no previous experience with ST will be recruited to participate in a ST program for 8 weeks (16 sessions of training). Participants consuming less than 1.6 g/Kg/day of protein from diet will be excluded. Muscle strength and muscle hypertrophy will be evaluated before and after the 8-week ST program, as well as the following genetic polymorphisms: ECA, ACTN3, ACVR2B, ACVR1B, AGT, AGTR2, CNTF, COL6A1, COL1A1, COMT, FST, H1F1A, MCT1, MSTN, NOS3, AMDP1, BMP2, IGF1, IL6, IL15, NR3C1, VDR e PPARG. After correction for potential covariates, the multivariate analysis will be used to build a parsimonious polygenic model capable of explaining ST responsiveness in terms of strength, hypertrophy and overall responses.
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