The purpose of this study was to examine the regulation (hormonal, substrate, and allosteric) of muscle glycogen phosphorylase (Phos) activity and glycogenolysis after short-term endurance training. Eight untrained males completed 6 days of cycle exercise (2 h/day) at 65% of maximal O2 uptake (Vo2max). Before and after training subjects cycled for 15 min at 80% of Vo2max, and muscle biopsies and blood samples were obtained at 0 and 30 s, 7.5 and 15 min, and 0, 5, 10, and 15 min of exercise. Vo2max was unchanged with training but citrate synthase (CS) activity increased by 20%. Muscle glycogenolysis was reduced by 42% during the 15-min exercise challenge following training (198.8 +/- 36.9 vs. 115.4 +/- 25.1 mmol/kg dry muscle), and plasma epinephrine was blunted at 15 min of exercise. The Phos a mole fraction was unaffected by training. Muscle phosphocreatine utilization and free Pi and AMP accumulations were reduced with training at 7.5 and 15 min of exercise. It is concluded that posttransformational control of Phos, exerted by reductions in substrate (free Pi) and allosteric modulator (free AMP) contents, is responsible for a blunted muscle glycogenolysis after 6 days of endurance training. The increase in CS activity suggests that the reduction of muscle glycogenolysis was due in part to an enhanced mitochondrial potential.