The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a long-term (50 wk) combined aerobic-resistance training program on maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max, thigh strength, and vastus lateralis fiber morphology in healthy septuagenarian women (X age = 72 ± 6 yr). Subjects volunteered to be in either an exercise (Ex; N = 17) or control (Con; N = 10) group. Con subjects were 34% less active in winter than in summer; Ex subjects maintained their summer activity level on exercise days in winter. Initial, intermediate (20 wk), and final (50 wk) measurements were made for isokinetic knee extension/ flexion strength; VO2max and morphological measurements from a muscle biopsy were made at the initial and final times only. Both groups gained in leg strength (Ex = +6.5%; Con = +7.8%; P < 0.05) during the summer; in the winter the Ex group maintained leg strength and the Con group declined 12.2% (P ≥ 0.05). The fasttwitch muscle fiber area (Type IIb) increased 29% (P ≥ 0.001) in the Ex group and declined 26% (P = 0.014) in the Con group. VO2max increased only in the Ex group (16%; P < 0.001). We conclude that healthy septuagenarian women can increase aerobic capacity, leg strength, and Type IIb muscle fiber area with a long-duration, combined aerobic-resistance exercise program.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Medicine and science in sports and exercise|
|State||Published - Jun 1991|
- Aerobic exercise
- Skeletal muscle