JOURNAL ARTICLE

Time course of low- and high-volume strength training on neuromuscular adaptations and muscle quality in older women

Regis Radaelli, Cíntia E Botton, Eurico N Wilhelm, Martim Bottaro, Lee E Brown, Fabiano Lacerda, Anelise Gaya, Kelly Moraes, Amanda Peruzzolo, Ronei S Pinto
Age (2005-) 2014, 36 (2): 881-92
24414336
This study investigated the effects of low- and high-volume strength trainings on neuromuscular adaptations of lower- and upper-body muscles in older women after 6 weeks (6WE), 13 weeks (13WE), and 20 weeks (20WE) of training. Healthy older women were assigned to low-volume (LV) or high-volume (HV) training groups. The LV group performed one set of each exercise, while the HV group performed three sets, 2 days/week. Knee extension and elbow flexion one-repetition maximum (1-RM), maximal isometric strength, maximal muscle activation, and muscle thickness (MT) of the lower- and upper-body muscles, as well as lower-body muscle quality (MQ) obtained by ultrasonography, were evaluated. Knee extension and elbow flexion 1-RM improved at all time points for both groups; however, knee extension 1-RM gains were greater for the HV group after 20WE. Maximal isometric strength of the lower body for both groups increased only at 20WE, while upper-body maximal isometric strength increased after 13WE and 20WE. Maximal activation of the lower and upper body for both groups increased only after 20WE. Both groups showed significant increases in MT of their lower and upper body, with greater gains in lower-body MT for the HV group at 20WE. MQ improved in both groups after 13WE and 20WE, whereas the HV group improved more than the LV group at 20WE. These results showed that low- and high-volume trainings have a similar adaptation time course in the muscular function of upper-body muscles. However, high-volume training appears to be more efficient for lower-body muscles after 20 weeks of training.

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