Nonselective and β1-selective adrenergic antagonists were tested for their effects on enzymatic adaptation to exercise training in rats as follows: trained + placebo (TC); trained + propranolol (TP); trained + atenolol (TA); and corresponding sedentary groups, SC and SP. Trained rats ran 1 h/d at 26.8 m/min, 15% grade, 5 d/wk, 10 wk. Both β-antagonists were given at doses that decreased exercise heart rates by 25%. Training increased skeletal muscle citrate synthase, cytochrome c oxidase (Cyt-Ox), carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT), β-hydroxyacyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase, mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase (MDH), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activities significantly in the TC group, but not in TP. These enzyme activities, except Cyt-Ox and CPT, were also significantly increased in TA. Hepatic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase activity did not alter with training or β-blockade. Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase activity was lower in TC than in SC, but unchanged in TP or TA. Hepatic mitochondrial MDH and ALT activities increased with training only in TC. It is concluded that β2-adrenergic mechanisms play an essential role in the training-induced enzymatic adaptation in skeletal muscle.