Effects of 24 Weeks of Progressive Resistance Training on Knee Extensors Peak Torque and Fat-Free Mass in Older Women

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Rabelo, HT, Bezerra, LA, Terra, DF, Lima, RM, Silva, MAF, Leite, TK, and de Oliveira, RJ. Effects of 24 weeks of progressive resistance training on knee extensors peak torque and fat-free mass in older women. J Strength Cond Res 25(8): 2298-2303, 2011—This study examined the effects of resistance training (RT) on knee extensor peak torque (KEPT) and fat-free mass (FFM) in older women. Seventy-eight volunteers (67.1 ± 5.9 years old) underwent 24 weeks of progressive RT (RTG) while 76 (67.4 ± 5.9 years old) were studied as controls (CG). Dominant knee extension peak torque was assessed using an isokinetic dynamometer (Biodex System 3) and FFM measurements were performed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Muscle strength and FFM were evaluated before and after the intervention in all volunteers. Participants in the RTG trained major muscle groups 3 times per week during 24 weeks. Training load was kept at 60% of 1 repetition maximum in the first 4 weeks, 70% in the following 4 weeks, and 80% in the remaining 16 weeks, with repetitions, respectively, decreasing from 12, 10, and 8. A Split-plot analysis of variance was performed to examine between- and within-group differences, and the level of significance was accepted at p ≤ 0.05. It was observed that the RTG showed significant increases in KEPT (from 89.9 ± 21.8 to 102.8 ± 22.6 N·m; p < 0.05) and FFM (from 36.4 ± 4.0 to 37.1 ± 4.2 kg, p < 0.05). Appendicular FFM was also significantly increased after the intervention period in the RTG (13.9 ± 1.8 to 14.2 ± 1.9 kg, p < 0.05). None of these changes were observed for the CG. Consistent with the literature, it is concluded that a progressive RT program promotes not only increases in muscle strength, as evaluated by an isokinetic dynamometer, but also in FFM as evaluated by the DXA, in elderly women.

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