Resistance Training And The Elderly Essay

2392 words - 10 pages


Many studies have shown that resistance training improves strength and many other aspects in the elderly population. Although the literature covers a wide variety of such theories, this review will focus on major themes, which will emerge repeatedly throughout the literature reviewed. These themes are: high intensity resistance training improves the muscle mass, strength and hypertrophy, muscle hypertrophy was due to the increase in type I and II fibres and muscle mass and strength gains were slightly more or less the same for both men and women but the was an overall increase in strength adaptations (Williams & Stewart, 2009). Although this literature presents these themes in a variety of contexts, this paper will primarily focus on the effect of resistance training on the elderly population in terms of muscle hypertrophy and strength.

Human aging is inevitable; it is characterized by a decline in skeletal muscle mass, alongside with decreased muscle strength (Van Roie, Delecluse, Coudyzer, Boonen, & Bautmans, 2013). Resistance exercise has been characterized as an effective treatment strategy to counteract the loss skeletal muscle mass and muscle strength (Leenders, M., Verdijk, L. B., van der Hoeven, L., van Kranenburg, J., Nilwik, R., & van Loon, L. J.) (2013).

In Kemmler, W., & von Stengel, S. (2013) study it has shown that with exercise frequency of more than two sessions per week at relatively high intensity has to be applied to gain an impact on the musculoskeletal aspect of the body. Even in the very old population there is increase in muscle mass, strength and functional capacity of following resistance training (Leenders et al., 2013).


As we age, there is a progressive loss of muscle mass and strength, exercise can elicit a range of physiological changes in the study by Romero-Arenas et al., (2013) they recruited 37 participants ranging from 55-75 years old consisting of untrained men and women, they were split between high resistance circuit training (HRC) or traditional strength training (TS) and trained for 12 weeks. From this study they concluded that HRC training is effective as TS for improving muscle mass, strength and bone mineral density. But circuit training using lower loads doesn’t give as much strength gain as with traditional strength training methods (Brentano et al., 2008). From the two studies it can be seen that any form of resistance training affects physiological functions in a positive way depending on which type of resistance training that is being executed will vary in the physiological adaptations gained such as muscle development and strength gain which creates a benefit to anyone partaking in resistance training.

Resistance exercise has been established as an effective treatment strategy to counteract the loss of muscle mass and strength in the elderly population (Frontera, Meredith, O'Reilly, Knuttgen, & Evans, 1988). Leenders et al. (2013) recruited 60 men and women for a 24 week...

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