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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014 Aug;24 Suppl 1:86-97. doi: 10.1111/sms.12217. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

Cardiovascular adaptations to 4 and 12 months of football or strength training in 65- to 75-year-old untrained men.

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Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Cardiology, Gentofte Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark.


The study examined the effects of 1 year of football or strength training on cardiovascular function in 65- to 75-year-old men. Twenty-six untrained men (age: 68.2 ± 3.2 years) were randomized to football training (FTG; n = 9), strength training (STG; n = 9), or control (CG; n = 8). In FTG, left ventricular (LV) internal diastolic diameter, end-diastolic volume, and mass index were 8%, 21%, and 18% higher (P < 0.01), respectively, after 12 months, with no changes in STG and CG. After 12 months, LV ejection fraction was increased (P < 0.05) by 8% and 5% in FTG and STG, respectively, and systolic longitudinal two-dimensional strain by 8% and 6%, whereas right ventricular systolic function improved (P < 0.05) by 22% in FTG, but not in STG and CG. In FTG, LV diastolic mitral inflow (E/A) ratio and peak early diastolic velocity (E') improved (P < 0.05) by 25% and 12%, respectively, after 12 months, with no changes in STG and CG. In FTG, maximum oxygen uptake was 16% and 18% higher (P < 0.001) after 4 and 12 months, respectively, and resting heart rate was 6 and 8 beats per minute lower (P < 0.001), respectively, with no changes in STG and CG. In conclusion, football training elicited superior cardiovascular effects compared with strength training in elderly untrained men.



Echocardiography; diastolic function; high-intensity interval training; systolic function; vascular function

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