Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Carl M. Maresh; Jeff S. Volek

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


Lymphocytes are one of many leukocytes which exert a biphasic response to acute intense resistance exercise. Exercise volume (i.e. total work) has been shown to have an immunomodulatory effect. This study evaluates the effect of total work performed during an intense resistance exercise protocol on lymphocyte concentrations in the circulation. Untrained, college-aged (18-35) males who performed high amounts of work (HW) were compared to those who performed low amounts of work (LW). Resistance exercise testing consisted of 6 sets of 10 repetitions of the squat exercise with 2 minutes rest between sets. Both HW and LW performed the same relative intensities (~60% 1RM) throughout the test. At 15 min post-exercise the HW group displayed a significantly higher amount of NK cells in circulation when compared to the LW group. No significant differences were found between groups for any other lymphocytes or physiological responses (i.e. lactate, heart rate), however, both groups suffered lymphocyte suppression 60 min post-exercise. Differing strength levels and thus varied total work performances during a relative acute heavy resistance exercise bout did not result in differences in the time course or pattern of immunomodulation during recovery from exercise. Elevations in NK cell concentrations in the HW group point toward an influence of total work on differential NK cell recruitment patterns in males.

Major Advisor

William J. Kraemer