One session of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) every 5 days, improves muscle power but not static balance in lifelong sedentary ageing men: A randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Background:

Declining muscle power during advancing age predicts falls and loss of independence. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) may improve muscle power, but remains largely unstudied in ageing participants.

Methods:

This randomized controlled trial (RCT) investigated the efficacy of a low-frequency HIIT (LfHIIT) intervention on peak muscle power (peak power output [PPO]), body composition, and balance in lifelong sedentary but otherwise healthy males.

Methods:

Thirty-three lifelong sedentary ageing men were randomly assigned to either intervention (INT; n = 22, age 62.3 ± 4.1 years) or control (n = 11, age 61.6 ± 5.0 years) who were both assessed at 3 distinct measurement points (phase A), after 6 weeks of conditioning exercise (phase B), and after 6 weeks of HIIT once every 5 days in INT (phase C), where control remained inactive throughout the study.

Results:

Static balance remained unaffected, and both absolute and relative PPO were not different between groups at phases A or B, but increased significantly in INT after LfHIIT (P < 0.01). Lean body mass displayed a significant interaction (P < 0.01) due to an increase in INT between phases B and C (P < 0.05).

Conclusions:

6 weeks of LfHIIT exercise feasible and effective method to induce clinically relevant improvements in absolute and relative PPO, but does not improve static balance in sedentary ageing men.

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