- Needle biopsies were taken from triceps brachii of 6 healthy males before and after a 6 month intensive weight training programme. The tissue was sectioned, photographed under a Philips EM200 and subjected to stereological analysis. Cross sectional fibre areas were also calculated from cryostat sections stained for ATPase activity. Morphometric analysis indicated that training resulted in a significant 26% reduction in mitochondrial volume density and a 25% reduction in the mitochondrial volume to myofibrillar volume ratio. These changes were accompanied by significant increases in fibre area for both FT (33%) and ST (27%) fibres as determined from the light microscope. There was a significant correlation between the reduction in mitochondrial volume density and the increase in FT fibre area following training (r=0.845). It was concluded that heavy resistance training leads to a dilution of the mitochondrial volume density through an increase in myofibrillar size with hypertrophy.