BETHESDA, Md. (Mar. 31, 2009) Octogenarian women were unable to increase muscle mass after a 3-month weight lifting program targeted at strengthening the thigh muscle, according to a new study from the Journal of Applied Physiology. The results are surprising because previous studies have found resistance training capable of increasing muscle mass, even for people who are into their 70s. An increase in muscle size translates to an increase in strength.
Still, the Ball State University study contained some good news: The octogenarians were able to lift more weight after the training program, likely because the nervous system became more efficient at activating and synchronizing muscles.
The American Physiological Society published the study, "Improvements in whole muscle and myocellular function are limited with high-intensity resistance training in octogenarian women." The researchers are Ulrika Raue, Dustin Slivka, Kiril Minchev and Scott Trappe. You can read the full study by going to: http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/reprint/91587.2008v1?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=Trappe%2C+S&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT
Aim: Strengthen Octogenarian Thigh Muscle
The experiment involved six women, all in their 80s, all of whom lived independently and came to the laboratory three times a week for three months. The women exercised on a machine designed to strengthen the thigh (quadriceps) muscle. They did three sets of 10 lifts, with a 2-minute rest period between sets.
The researchers measured the size of the women's thigh muscle using an MRI, before the exercise program began and after it ended. They also took biopsies from the thigh
|Contact: Christine Guilfoy|
American Physiological Society