In the present study, we evaluated how a pharmacologically induced phenotype shift in dystrophic skeletal muscle would affect subsequent intracellular signaling in response to a complementary, adaptive physiological stimulus. mdx mice were treated with the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activator 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-β-d-ribofuranoside (AICAR; 500 mg·kg−1·day−1) for 30 days, and then one-half of the animals were subjected to a bout of treadmill running to induce acute AMPK and p38 MAPK signaling. The mRNA levels of phenotypic modifiers, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-δ (PPARδ), PPARγ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), receptor interacting protein 140 (RIP 140), and silent information regulator two ortholog 1 (SIRT1) were assessed in skeletal muscle, as well as the expression of the protein arginine methyltransferase genes PRMT1 and CARM1. We found unique AMPK and p38 phosphorylation and expression signatures between dystrophic and healthy muscle. In dystrophic skeletal muscle, treadmill running induced PPARδ, PGC-1α, and SIRT1 mRNAs, three molecules that promote the slow, oxidative myogenic program. In the mdx animals that received the chronic AICAR treatment, running-elicited AMPK and p38 phosphorylation was attenuated compared with vehicle-treated mice. Similarly, acute stress-evoked expression of PPARδ, PGC-1α, and SIRT1 was also blunted by chronic pharmacological AMPK stimulation. Skeletal muscle PRMT1 and CARM1 protein contents were higher in mdx mice compared with wild-type littermates. The acute running-evoked induction of PRMT1 and CARM1 mRNAs was also attenuated by the AICAR treatment. Our data demonstrate that prior pharmacological conditioning is a salient determinant in how dystrophic muscle adapts to subsequent complementary, acute physiological stress stimuli. These results provide insight into possible therapeutic applications of synthetic agonists in neuromuscular diseases, such as during chronic administration to Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients.