Here is what a gene microarray looks like. In this image, there are 824 genes that were scanned during resistance exercise; in this case, bicep curls. The red are higher levels of mRNA and the green are lower levels. It’s amazing, although sometimes quite messy in this case, what we can now do in science.
What this group found is that resistance training blunts genes involved in immune responses by minimizing expression of genes involved in the recruitment of immune cells while simultaneously upregulating genes responsible for inflammation.
In addition, resistance training blunted genes involved in glucose metabolism, mitochondrial structure, and oxidative phosphorylation. This makes sense due to the specificity of the training. Resistance training would not require the upregulation of genes involved in these processes because it is not an endurance type activity. For this reason, I always recommend trying to separate sessions in the gym of weight training and cardio as much as possible because they clearly upregulate and downregulate different genes. It may be detrimental to the specific adaptive training response if both are done around a similar period, but this is yet to be shown to my knowledge. Some studies were published on this but I would still say it’s just merely a working hypothesis for now.
(Gordon et al J Appl Physiol.2012 Feb;112(3):443-53. Epub 2011 Nov 3.)
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