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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1988 Mar;64(3):1038-44.

Strength conditioning in older men: skeletal muscle hypertrophy and improved function.

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United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.


The effects of strength conditioning on skeletal muscle function and mass were determined in older men. Twelve healthy untrained volunteers (age range 60-72 yr) participated in a 12-wk strength training program (8 repetitions/set; 3 sets/day; 3 days/wk) at 80% of the one repetition maximum (1 RM) for extensors and flexors of both knee joints. They were evaluated before the program and after 6 and 12 wk of training. Weekly measurements of 1 RM showed a progressive increase in strength in extensors and flexors. By 12 wk extensor and flexor strength had increased 107.4 (P less than 0.0001) and 226.7% (P less than 0.0001), respectively. Isokinetic peak torque of extensors and flexors measured on a Cybex II dynamometer increased 10.0 and 18.5% (P less than 0.05) at 60 degrees/s and 16.7 and 14.7% (P less than 0.05) at 240 degrees/s. The torque-velocity relationship showed an upward displacement of the curve at the end of training, mainly in the slow-velocity high-torque region. Midthigh composition from computerized tomographic scans showed an increase (P less than 0.01) in total thigh area (4.8%), total muscle area (11.4%), and quadriceps area (9.3%). Biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle revealed similar increases (P less than 0.001) in type I fiber area (33.5%) and type II fiber area (27.6%). Daily excretion of urinary 3-methyl-L-histidine increased with training (P less than 0.05) by an average 40.8%. Strength gains in older men were associated with significant muscle hypertrophy and an increase in myofibrillar protein turnover.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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