Author(s): Tracy BL, Ivey FM, Hurlbut D, Martel GF, Lemmer JT,
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Abstract To determine the effects of strength training (ST) on muscle quality (MQ, strength/muscle volume of the trained muscle group), 12 healthy older men (69 +/- 3 yr, range 65-75 yr) and 11 healthy older women (68 +/- 3 yr, range 65-73 yr) were studied before and after a unilateral leg ST program. After a warm-up set, four sets of heavy-resistance knee extensor ST exercise were performed 3 days/wk for 9 wk on the Keiser K-300 leg extension machine. The men exhibited greater absolute increases in the knee extension one-repetition maximum (1-RM) strength test (75 +/- 2 and 94 +/- 3 kg before and after training, respectively) and in quadriceps muscle volume measured by magnetic resonance imaging (1,753 +/- 44 and 1, 955 +/- 43 cm3) than the women (42 +/- 2 and 55 +/- 3 kg for the 1-RM test and 1,125 +/- 53 vs. 1,261 +/- 65 cm3 for quadriceps muscle volume before and after training, respectively, in women; both P < 0.05). However, percent increases were similar for men and women in the 1-RM test (27 and 29\% for men and women, respectively), muscle volume (12\% for both), and MQ (14 and 16\% for men and women, respectively). Significant increases in MQ were observed in both groups in the trained leg (both P < 0.05) and in the 1-RM test for the untrained leg (both P < 0.05), but no significant differences were observed between groups, suggesting neuromuscular adaptations in both gender groups. Thus, although older men appear to have a greater capacity for absolute strength and muscle mass gains than older women in response to ST, the relative contribution of neuromuscular and hypertrophic factors to the increase in strength appears to be similar between genders.
This article was published in J Appl Physiol (1985)
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation