Resistance Training for Older Adults: Position Statement From the National Strength and Conditioning Association


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Abstract

Fragala, MS, Cadore, EL, Dorgo, S, Izquierdo, M, Kraemer, WJ, Peterson, MD, and Ryan, ED. Resistance training for older adults: position statement from the national strength and conditioning association. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2019—Aging, even in the absence of chronic disease, is associated with a variety of biological changes that can contribute to decreases in skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function. Such losses decrease physiologic resilience and increase vulnerability to catastrophic events. As such, strategies for both prevention and treatment are necessary for the health and well-being of older adults. The purpose of this Position Statement is to provide an overview of the current and relevant literature and provide evidence-based recommendations for resistance training for older adults. As presented in this Position Statement, current research has demonstrated that countering muscle disuse through resistance training is a powerful intervention to combat the loss of muscle strength and muscle mass, physiological vulnerability, and their debilitating consequences on physical functioning, mobility, independence, chronic disease management, psychological well-being, quality of life, and healthy life expectancy. This Position Statement provides evidence to support recommendations for successful resistance training in older adults related to 4 parts: (a) program design variables, (b) physiological adaptations, (c) functional benefits, and (d) considerations for frailty, sarcopenia, and other chronic conditions. The goal of this Position Statement is to a) help foster a more unified and holistic approach to resistance training for older adults, b) promote the health and functional benefits of resistance training for older adults, and c) prevent or minimize fears and other barriers to implementation of resistance training programs for older adults.

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