Once Weekly Combined Resistance and Cardiovascular Training in Healthy Older Men

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Abstract

Purpose

To compare the effects of the 16-wk training period (2 d·wk−1) of resistance training alone (S), endurance training alone (E), or combined resistance (once weekly) and endurance (once weekly) training (SE) on muscle mass, maximal strength and power of the leg and arm extensor muscles, and maximal workload (Wmax) by using a incremental cycling test in older men.

Methods

Thirty-one healthy men (65–74 yr) were divided into three treatment groups to train 2× wk−1 for 16 wk: S (N = 10), E (N = 11), or SE (N = 10; 1× wk−1 S + 1× wk−1 E). The subjects were tested at 8-wk intervals (i.e., weeks 8 and 16).

Results

There were no significant differences between S- and SE-induced muscle hypertrophy (11% and 11%) and maximal strength (41% and 38%) gains of the legs as well as between E- and SE-induced Wmax (28% and 23%) gains. The increase in arm strength in S (36%) was greater than that recorded in SE (22%) and greater than that recorded in E (0%).

Conclusions

Prolonged combined resistance and endurance training in older men seemed to lead to similar gains in muscle mass, maximal strength, and power of the legs as resistance training alone and to similar gains in maximal peak power output measured in an incremental cycling test as endurance training alone. These findings may have an effect on how resistance exercise is prescribed to older adults.

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