By Maria Mozo
When one wants to bulk up, the first thing that comes to mind is going to the gym, and do certain workout routines. But which physical exercises are best to hit the target? Physical exercises done right are a great way to keep oneself healthy and fit. There are three main exercises: aerobic or cardio exercises, anaerobic exercises, and flexibility exercises. Cardio exercises are ones that make use of the large muscle groups in order to push the body to utilize more oxygen. Some of the cardio exercises include cycling, swimming, brisk walking, long-slow distance training, rowing, hiking, and playing tennis. Cardio exercises help improve cardiovascular endurance. As for aerobic exercises, routines are focused at firming, strengthening, and toning muscles. They promote strength and speed. Examples are weight training, functional training, eccentric training, interval training, sprinting, and resistance training (e.g. lunges and pushups ). Flexibility exercises are those that help in improving joint flexibility and the range of motion without resulting to injuries. Examples of flexibility exercises are stretching and yoga. This means that different physical exercises have different effects on the body. And, anaerobic exercises are the type of exercise that promotes muscle mass build up. However, the question is, why do anaerobic exercises, resistance training for instance, are effective in building up muscle mass?
In spite of the differing effects of the physical exercises performed, researchers identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator PGC-1α as one particular gene responsible for controling many processes that occur during an exercise. Accordingly, both resistance and endurance exercises activate the PGC-1 α gene.1 However, the adaptation processes that are triggered depend on what type of exercise is performed. This is because this gene codes for protein isomers. Isomers pertain to the different forms of the same protein. PGC-1 α gene is observed to code for isomers depending on the type of exercise carried out. Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland observed that shortly after exercising, both endurance and resistance exercises produced isoforms PGC-1α exon 1b, PGC-1α exon 1b’ and truncated PGC-1α whereas only endurance exercise produced PGC-1α exon 1a isoform. Their study implicates that endurance exercise induced responses typical for the growth of new blood vessels and mitochondrial biogenesis whereas resistance exercise induced responses typical for blood vessel growth and muscle hypertrophy. Further they said, "Our results support that gene expression responses of PGC-1α isoforms may have an important role in exercise-induced muscle adaptations." 1
1 American Physiological Society (APS). (2015, October 20). New study explains why you bulk up with resistance training, not endurance training.ScienceDaily. Retrieved from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151020094829.htm.