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Short-Term Heavy Resistance Training Eliminates Age-Related Deficits in Muscle Mass and Strength in Healthy Older Males
Authors: Darren G. Candow, Philip D. Chilibeck, Saman Abeysekara and Gordon A. Zello
To find out if short-term heavy resistance training in healthy older men can eliminate deficits in muscle mass and strength. This is compared to the muscle mass and strength of healthy younger men. To see if the effects of “sarcopenia” can be reversed, which is what they hypothesized to be true.
The lean tissue mass of the older adults (60-71) increased over the resistance training period (22 weeks) so that it was similar to the younger control group. Muscle thickness increased in the older group to a point where it was not significantly different than the younger group. Strength in the chest press and leg press increased as well so that it was no different than the younger group. 3-methylhistidine (marker of protein catabolism in urine) was significantly reduced in the older men after the 22 week training period. This shows with training you can avoid muscle atrophy as you age.
What this means to you
In a 22 week period, older men were able to decrease the gap between younger individuals in muscle strength, muscle thickness, and lean tissue mass. This reduction was enough to cause the gap between the two groups to not be clinically significant. Meaning the older group would still be able to perform all of the ADL’s (activities of daily living) in comparison to the younger group. This proves that the effects of sarcopenia can be reversed with an intense resistance training program. So you, your parents, or your grandparents should start resistance training today and regrow the muscle that was lost. The specific protocol this study followed included 3×10 to muscle fatigue, with 2 minutes rest in between sets, 3x/week for 22 weeks on 9 total-body based exercise machines.
Dareen G. Candow, Philip D. Chilibeck, Saman Abeysekara and Gordon A. Zello. “Short-Term Heavy Resistance Training Eliminates Age-Related Deficits in Muscle Mass and Strength in Healthy Older Males.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 25 (Feb. 2011): 326-333.