Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Elaine C. Lee, Dr. Carl M. Maresh, Dr. Jeff S. Volek

Field of Study



Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Exercise has been shown to induce significant stress and a subsequent inflammatory response characterized by changes in circulating leukocyte populations and inflammatory cytokines and has been well documented following aerobic exercise. Research in regards to the effects of resistance exercise on the stress induced inflammatory response is less prevalent and has shown divergent results, likely due to differences in the exercise protocols used, the time points measured and the subjects involved. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to analyze the stress response to an acute heavy resistance exercise protocol (AHREP) in resistance-trained men. Specifically, we examined effects on circulating leukocytes, inflammatory cytokines, and extracellular heat shock protein 70 (HSP70). Ten resistance-trained men completed an AHREP consisting of high intensity back squat for six sets of 10 repetitions. Blood draws were taken before and immediately after the protocol, and at 15, 30, 60 and 120 minutes into recovery. Additional blood draws were taken 24, 48 and 72 hours into recovery. Increases in lactate, cortisol and creatine kinase following the AHREP confirmed the stressful and damaging nature of the protocol. Significant changes were observed in circulating leukocytes and extracellular HSP 70, though no significant changes were observed in the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF- α, IL-1, IL-8 and IL-12p70, nor in the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-10. Our findings help further elucidate the inflammatory response to resistance exercise stress in resistance-trained men. Furthermore, our findings show that resistance exercise can induce an increase in extracellular HSP70 provided the protocol is sufficiently stressful.

Major Advisor

Dr. William J. Kraemer