Repeated bouts of episodic myofibrillar contraction associated with exercise training are potent stimuli for physiological adaptation. However, the time course of adaptation and the continuity between alterations in mRNA expression and protein content are not well described in human skeletal muscle. Eight healthy, sedentary males cycled for 60 min at 80% of peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) each day for fourteen consecutive days, resulting in an increase in VO2peak of 17.5±3.8%. Skeletal muscle biopsies were taken at baseline, and on the morning following (+16 h after exercise) the first, third, seventh, tenth and fourteenth training sessions. Markers of mitochondrial adaptation (Cyt c and COXIV expression, and citrate synthase activity) were increased within the first week of training, but the mtDNA/nDNA ratio was unchanged by two weeks of training. Accumulation of PGC-1α and ERRα protein during training suggests a regulatory role for these factors in adaptations of mitochondrial and metabolic gene expression. A subset of genes were transiently increased after one training session, but returned to baseline levels thereafter, which is supportive of the concept of transcriptional capacity being particularly sensitive to the onset of a new level of contractile activity. Thus, gene-specific temporal patterns of induction of mRNA expression and protein content are described. Our results illustrate the phenomenology of skeletal muscle plasticity and support the notion that transcript level adjustments, coupled to accumulation of encoded protein, underlie the modulation of skeletal muscle metabolism and phenotype by regular exercise.