EFFECTS OF RESISTANCE TRAINING ON FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH AND MUSCLE MASS IN 70-YEAR-OLD INDIVIDUALS WITH PRE-SARCOPENIA: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Review written by Dr Mariana Wingood info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Sarcopenia has over 7 different definitions, with a common theme of significant decline in muscle mass and detrimental effects on functional mobility as well as independence. According to the European Working Group on Sarcopenia, to be diagnosed with sarcopenia, individuals need to have 2 out of the 3 criteria: (1) low muscle mass, (2) low muscle strength, and/or (3) low physical performance. Individuals with just low muscle mass are considered to have pre-sarcopenia. The risk of being diagnosed with sarcopenia increases with age, with up to 50% of individuals aged ≥ 80 years having sarcopenia. The risk further increases if an individual is inactive, highlighting the importance of increasing physical activity.

To promote an increased level of physical activity, physical therapists need to be competent in prescribing appropriately dosed exercise programs to older adults. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of a 10-week body weight home-based resistance program in men and women aged 70 years with pre-sarcopenia.

METHODS

Subjects: Adults above the age of 70 with a diagnosis of pre-sarcopenia, which was determined by examining lean mass index (defined as arm lean mass and leg lean mass divided by height squared) of < 7.29 in men and < 5.93 in women. Control: did not make any changes to their level of physical activity. Intervention:

  • 3 sessions per week (45 min per session) over 10 weeks
  • 5-10 minutes of whole body warm-up
  • Exercises: 8 whole body exercises were performed, with a focus on strengthening the lower-limb using functional exercises (relevant to activities of daily living), including squats, chair stands, half lunges, bridges, pulley row, push-ups.
  • Sets and Repetition:
  • Week 1: 2 sets of 12 repetitions
  • Week 2-4: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Week 5-7: 4 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Week 8-10: focus became on muscle power resulting in faster concentric phase.
  • Intensity: 6-7/10-point score.

Assessments:

  • Primary Outcome Measure: Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB)
  • Secondary Outcome Measure: Timed Up and Go (TUG), handgrip strength, Lean Body Mass (LBM) via a Lunar iDXA device

RESULTS

The participants trained at an average intensity rating of 91% three times per week for ten weeks. This level of exercise intensity may explain the significant results among the intervention group, including improvements in both lean body mass and all

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