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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Feb;37(1):72-9. doi: 10.1139/h11-130. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Detraining-induced alterations in metabolic and fitness markers after a multicomponent exercise-training program in older men.

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University of Blaise Pascal, UFR STAPS, Aubière, France.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a 8-week detraining period after a 16-week multicomponent training program including strength and aerobic exercises on the main determinants of aerobic fitness, muscle strength and some metabolic markers in 24 older subjects (60.2 ± 3.0 years). The oxygen uptake at the second ventilatory threshold (VO(2)V(T2)) and at the end of exercise (VO(2max)), maximum voluntary contraction force (MVC) of knee extensors and some metabolic indexes, i.e., insulin sensitivity, blood lipid profile, inflammatory cytokines, and endothelial function, were evaluated at baseline and after the training and detraining periods. The training program induced significant improvements in VO(2)V(T2) (16%, p < 0.05), VO(2max) (14%, p < 0.05), MVC (6.5%, p < 0.05), insulin sensitivity (16%, p < 0.05), and endothelial function (p < 0.05) but induced no significant change in lipid profile and inflammatory cytokines. Interestingly, VO(2)V(T2) and VO(2max) (mL·min(-1)·kg(-1)) scores remained significantly above pretraining values after the 8-week detraining period. However, the detraining period reversed MVC values, the insulin sensitivity and endothelial function to baseline levels. To conclude, the 8-week detraining partially reversed the major components of aerobic fitness but totally abolished the gains in muscle strength and some metabolic indexes after a 16-week multicomponent training program in older men. Taken as a whole, the results of this study emphasize the importance of exercise prescriptions for older subjects and the need not to interrupt exercise-training over a prolonged period.

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