Exercise induced increases in muscle fiber number
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The effect of weight-lifting, which induced muscular enlargement, on fiber number was tested in the flexor carpi radialis muscle by operantly conditioning 6 cats to flex their right wrist against increasing resistance for an average of 101 weeks. The left was used as a control. At the end of training, the cats were performing "one-arm" lifts with an average of 57% of their body weight. There was an 11% greater muscle weight (P less than 0.01) and 9% (P less than 0.02) more fibers in the exercised muscles from the right limb than in the left. This study using a different method, supports our earlier observations that prolonged weight-lifting exercise significantly increases the total number of muscle fibers.
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