Skeletal muscle adapts to various forms of exercise depending on the force, speed and duration characteristics of the contraction pattern. The stresses and signals associated with each contraction pattern are likely to specifically activate a network of signal transduction pathways that integrate this information. These pathways include the calcineurin, Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), protein kinase C (PKC), nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK), insulin signalling and developmental pathways. Activated signal transduction pathways activate or increase the expression of transcription factors via various mechanisms. Skeletal muscle genes are usually regulated by combinatorial control exerted by several transcription factors and possibly other mechanisms. In addition, adaptations such as an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis or the activation of satellite cell proliferation involve distinct regulatory mechanisms.