Metabolic Adaptations to Endurance Training in Older Individuals
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The purpose of this study was to describe the effects of moderate intensity exercise training on the muscle energy utilization, blood flow, and exercise performance of four sedentary older individuals (58 +/- 4 yrs). Subjects trained the dominant forearm each day for 12 weeks. The nondominant arm was not trained and served as a within-subject control. 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P NMRS) was used to identify the power output in watts (W) at the onset, or threshold, of intracellular acidosis (IT) in the exercising muscle during progressive exercise tests to fatigue. After 6 weeks of training, power output at the IT increased by 14% (p < 0.05) in the dominant arm; however, an additional 6 weeks of the same exercise program failed to produce a further increase in IT power. IT power of the nondominant forearm was not changed. In the dominant forearm, endurance time for a submaximal wrist flexion test was increased 34% and 58% at 6 and 12 weeks, respectively. Maximal voluntary strength was not affected by training, nor was resting or exercising blood flow. The training program delayed the onset of intracellular acidosis during progressive exercise and increased the capacity for submaximal work. These effects did not appear to depend on an increase in muscle blood flow.
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