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Original articles  

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2001 September;41(3):291-9

language: English

Age related neural adaptation following short term resistance training in women

Bemben M. G., Murphy R. E.

From the Neu­ro­mus­cu­lar ­Research Labor­a­to­ry Depart­ment of ­Health and ­Sport Sci­enc­es Uni­ver­sity of Okla­ho­ma, Nor­man, USA


Back­ground. ­This ­study exam­ined the influ­ence of age on neu­ral facil­i­ta­tion and neu­ral ­cross-edu­ca­tion fol­low­ing ­short ­term uni­lat­er­al dynam­ic resis­tance train­ing ­with the hypoth­e­sis ­that old­er wom­en may ­have a dimin­ished abil­ity for adap­ta­tion.
Meth­ods. Experi­men­tal ­design: ­this was a pros­pec­tive, repeat­ed meas­ures ­design. The non-dom­i­nant ­left arm ­served as a con­trol ­limb and fol­low-up test­ing was per­formed two ­weeks ­after pretest­ing. Set­ting: test­ing was con­duct­ed in the Neu­ro­mus­cu­lar ­Research Labor­a­to­ry at the Uni­ver­sity of Okla­ho­ma. ­Patients: 20 ­females (n=10, ­young (YF) 20.8±0.1 yrs; n=10, old­er (OF) 58.1±0.14) ­were ­assessed. Inter­ven­tions: 14 ­days of train­ing of the ­right ­elbow flex­ors ­only. On ­each day, sub­jects per­formed ­four ­sets of ten rep­e­ti­tions ­using 70% of max­i­mal ­strength of the ­biceps bra­chii. Meas­ures: the fol­low­ing var­i­ables in ­both ­right and ­left ­elbow flex­or mus­cle ­groups ­were eval­u­at­ed; iso­met­ric ­strength (IMS), effi­cien­cy of electri­cal activ­ity (EEA) and esti­mat­ed ­upper arm ­cross-sec­tion­al ­area (CSA).
­Results. ­There ­were sig­nif­i­cant increas­es (p≤0.01) in IMS of ­both the ­right (28%) and ­left (12-15%) mus­cle ­groups for ­both age ­groups. ­Strength improve­ments ­were ­explained by neu­ral adap­ta­tion ­since ­there ­were no chang­es in ­upper arm CSA but con­sis­tent decreas­es in EEA (12-16%). ­While OF had con­sis­tent­ly low­er val­ues for all var­i­ables, ­there ­were no sig­nif­i­cant age ­effects.
Con­clu­sions. ­Short ­term uni­lat­er­al dynam­ic resis­tance train­ing is a suf­fi­cient stim­u­lus to ­induce sig­nif­i­cant ­strength increas­es in ­both ­trained and ­untrained con­tra­lat­er­al ­limbs and ­that a neu­ral mech­a­nism is respon­sible for the mus­cu­lar adap­ta­tion in ­both ­young and old­er wom­en. Impli­ca­tion ­exists for uni­lat­er­al ­stroke vic­tims, indi­vid­u­als ­with sin­gle hip or ­knee replace­ments, or sin­gle ­limb ­casts.

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