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Br J Sports Med. 2005 Aug;39(8):561-4.

Short term and long term detraining: is there any difference between young-old and old people?

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Department of Health Sciences, Akdeniz Univesity School of Physical Education and Sports, Antalya 07058, Turkey.



To assess the effects of short (six weeks) and long (52 weeks) term detraining on functional fitness in elderly people, and to determine whether these effects differ according to age in elderly people.


Elderly subjects, aged 60-86 years, completed a nine week multicomponent exercise training programme. They performed the senior fitness test after six and 52 weeks, and the responses of 12 young-old subjects (YO, aged 60-73 years) and nine older subjects (O, aged 74-86 years) were compared.


Functional fitness improved during the exercise training period. Short term detraining caused a loss of this improvement in functional performance. Performance on the chair stand test for both YO and O groups and on the up and go and six minute walk tests for the YO group remained significantly higher than before training after six weeks of detraining (p<0.013). Performance in all tests reverted to the pre-training values or lower after 52 weeks of detraining in both groups. In the O group, performances in the six minute walk test and arm curl test were lower than before training (p<0.013). The components of functional fitness most affected by detraining were agility with short term detraining, and aerobic endurance and upper extremity strength with long term detraining.


Changes in functional capacity after short and long term detraining are affected by age in elderly adults.

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