Training and Detraining Effects on Functional Fitness after a Multicomponent Training in Older Women

Article (PDF Available)inGerontology 55(1):41-8 · June 2008with293 Reads
DOI: 10.1159/000140681 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
Several studies have been carried out in order to evaluate the potential influence of increased physical activity on the health, biological ageing and functional ability of the elderly. However, only limited information is available on the effects of multicomponent training and detraining on functional performance. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of 8-month multicomponent training and 3-month detraining on the functional fitness of older women. Fifty-seven women were randomly assigned to an exercise (n = 32; 68.4 +/- 2.93 years) or a control group (n = 25; 69.6 +/- 4.20 years). The training program consisted of 2 sessions per week of aerobic, strength, balance and flexibility exercises. The functional fitness test battery was performed to assess the physical parameters associated with independent functioning in older adults. No significant changes were observed in body mass index and cardiovascular endurance as a result of the exercise training. Training induced significant (p < 0.05) improvements in chair stand (27.3%), arm curl (17.4%), chair sit-and-reach (17.4%), up-and-go (11%) and back scratch (14.5%) tests. However, both upper and lower body strength and upper and lower flexibility declined significantly after detraining in the exercise group. The results of this study highlight the negative effects of interrupting exercise on several physical parameters of functional fitness.
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Clinical Section
Gerontology 297
DOI: 10.1159/000XXXXXX
Training and Detraining Effects on
Functional Fitness after a Multicomponent
Training in Older Women
M.J. Carvalho E. Marques J. Mota
Research Centre in Physical Activity Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto , Portugal
cantly after detraining in the exercise group. Conclusion:
The results of this study highlight the negative effects of in-
terrupting exercise on several physical parameters of func-
tional fitness.
Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel
Introduction
Literature points out that regular physical activity
contributes to a healthy, independent lifestyle for older
individuals, with improvements in functional capacity
and quality of life
[1] .
Previous investigations have demonstrated that some
components of physical fitness in older adults can be im-
proved by exercise training
[26] . However, studies that
examined the changes induced through strength train-
ing are much more common than studies carried out
with multicomponent training. Multicomponent train-
ing is defined as a well-rounded program that includes
endurance, strength, coordination, balance and flexibil-
ity exercises. Current recommendations have recognized
that a combination of aerobic activity, strength training
and flexibility exercises is important for maintaining
physical function in older adults
[7–9] .
Some studies have described that both morphologic
and functional adaptations can decrease even after short
detraining periods
[10 –13] . Most studies of detraining in
Key Words
Elderly Physical performance measures Exercise training
Detraining
Abstract
Background: Several studies have been carried out in order
to evaluate the potential influence of increased physical ac-
tivity on the health, biological ageing and functional ability
of the elderly. However, only limited information is available
on the effects of multicomponent training and detraining
on functional performance. Objective: The purpose of the
present study was to investigate the effect of 8-month mul-
ticomponent training and 3-month detraining on the func-
tional fitness of older women. Methods: Fifty-seven women
were randomly assigned to an exercise (n = 32; 68.4 8 2.93
years) or a control group (n = 25; 69.6 8 4.20 years). The
training program consisted of 2 sessions per week of aero-
bic, strength, balance and flexibility exercises. The function-
al fitness test battery was performed to assess the physical
parameters associated with independent functioning in
older adults. Results: No significant changes were observed
in body mass index and cardiovascular endurance as a result
of the exercise training. Training induced significant (p !
0.05) improvements in chair stand (27.3%), arm curl (17.4%),
chair sit-and-reach (17.4%), up-and-go (11%) and back
scratch (14.5%) tests. However, both upper and lower body
strength and upper and lower flexibility declined signifi-
Received: October 10, 2007
Accepted: March 11, 2008
Published online: $ $ $
Prof. Maria Joana Carvalho
University of Porto, Faculty of Sport
Rua Dr. Plácido Costa 91
PT–4200-450 Porto (Portugal)
Tel. +35 122 507 4785, Fax +35 122 550 0689, E-Mail jcarvalho@fade.up.pt
© 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel
0304–324X/08/0000–0000$24.50/0
Accessible online at:
www.karger.com/ger
GER297.indd 1GER297.indd 1 30.05.2008 09:13:3030.05.2008 09:13:30
Carvalho/Marques/Mota
Gerontology 297
2
older people have examined the effect after a strength
training program and focused on different performance
measures of physical function, resembling the effects on
muscular strength, blood lipid concentration, flexibility,
mobility or anaerobic power
[3, 14–20] . Only few studies
have reported detraining evidence based on a combined
strength and aerobic exercise
[21, 22] or endurance train-
ing
[23] , and they have not addressed functional fitness
response. Nevertheless, to the best of our knowledge,
only 2 studies have examined the functional fitness
changes following multicomponent detraining in elderly
people
[10, 11] . Two major shortcomings of those 2 stud-
ies are the small sample size and the lack of analysis of the
control group outcomes.
Despite evidence of physiological decline during de-
training, there is not enough data suggesting how long
the beneficial effects of training are maintained and how
functional fitness changes following the cessation of a
multicomponent training stimulus in older women.
Therefore, the present study was designed to determine
the effect of multicomponent training on functional fit-
ness in older women following 8 months of training and
3 months of detraining.
Materials and Methods
Subjects and Experimental Design
Subjects were recruited through advertisements in the Porto
area newspapers for participation in this University-based study.
Sixty-five older women aged 64–85 years volunteered to partici-
pate in this study. Exclusion criteria included the following: being
active in the previous 2 years (engaging in at least 2 days a week
for 20 min or more of moderate to vigorous physical activities),
absence of 20% of the total sessions, absence of more than 8 con-
secutive sessions, smoking, registered blindness, severe hearing
impairment, uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes, symptom-
atic cardiorespiratory disease, severe renal or hepatic disease, un-
controlled epilepsy, progressive neurological disease and chronic
disabling arthritis. Eight subjects were excluded due to illness (4
had musculoskeletal disorders, 1 had Parkinson’s disease) and
time constraints (n = 3).
Fifty-seven nonregular exercisers were randomly assigned to
a control group (CG) or an exercise group (EG). The participants
who were placed in the EG received an 8-month multicomponent
training program 2 days a week, while those in the CG main-
tained their physical activity routine.
Before conducting the study, all participants received a com-
plete explanation of the purpose, risks and procedures of the in-
vestigation, and provided written informed consent. The investi-
gation was in full compliance with the Helsinki declaration of
1975, as revised in 2004, and all methods and procedures were
approved by the Scientific Board of the Faculty of Sport of the
University of Porto.
At the final screening, all subjects underwent a medical evalu-
ation that included resting electrocardiography (SH-6340 DAAR;
Shiller), height, weight and blood pressure measurement. All sub-
jects were nonsmokers, free of cardiovascular disease and were
not taking any medications known to influence physical param-
eters of functional fitness. All participants had medical clearance
to participate in the testing and training sessions. Both groups
were then tested on 3 occasions (at baseline, after 8 months of
training and after 3 months of detraining).
M e a s u r e m e n t s
All measurements were performed by the same evaluator on
3 occasions: the first assessment was conducted prior the begin-
ning of training (last week of September), the second evaluation
took place after 8 months of training (first week of June) and the
last evaluation was conducted after 3 months of detraining (first
week of September).
All test stations were organized in a circuit, and the same con-
ditions were maintained for each test at all testing periods. On the
test day, subjects first completed 810 min warm-up led by a phys-
ical education instructor and then completed all test items.
Functional Fitness Test
This battery consists of 7 assessment items, designed and val-
idated to assess the physiological parameters that support physi-
cal mobility in older adults
[24] .
Lower body strength was measured using the 30-second chair
stand test. Participants were asked to sit on a 43-cm-high chair
with arms crossed at the wrists and held against the chest. Par-
ticipants completed as manystand ups as possible within 30 s.
The score was the total number of stands executed correctly with-
in 30 s. The reliability of this strength test is high (r = 0.92)
[24] .
Upper body strength was assessed using the arm curl test. Par-
ticipants performed as many biceps curls as possible in 30 s, using
a 2.27-kg dumbbell. The score was the total number of hand-
weight curls performed through the full range of motion in 30 s.
The arm curl test has good relative reliability across trials (r =
0.80)
[24] .
Lower body flexibility was assessed using the chair sit-and-
reach test. The score was the best distance achieved between the
extended fingers and the tip of the toe, measured to the nearest
0.5 cm. The reliability of the chair sit-and-reach test is high (r =
0.96)
[24] .
Upper body flexibility was assessed using the back scratch test.
The score was the shortest distance achieved between the extend-
ed middle fingers, measured to the nearest 0.5 cm. The reliability
of this test is high (r = 0.92)
[24] .
Agility/dynamic balance was assessed using the 8-foot up-
and-go test. The score was the shortest time to rise from a seated
position, walk 2.44 m (8 ft), turn, and return to the seated posi-
tion, measured to the nearest 1/10th s. The 8-foot up-and-go test
has showed a higher test-retest reliability of 0.90
[24] .
Aerobic endurance was measured using the 6-min walk test.
Participants were asked to walk as fast as possible for 6 min with
verbal encouragement given at 30-second intervals. The score was
the total distance walked in 6 min along a 45.72-meter rectangu-
lar course, which was marked every 4.57 m. The reliability of this
test is high (r = 0.91)
[24] .
The 6-min walk test was administrated on a different day. The
30-second chair stand, arm curl and 6-min walk tests involve,
GER297.indd 2GER297.indd 2 30.05.2008 09:13:4430.05.2008 09:13:44
Training and Detraining Effects on
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Gerontology 297
3
after a demonstration by the tester, a practice trial of 2 repeti-
tions, followed by 1 test trial. The best score of 2 trials was used
to evaluate performance in the chair sit-and-reach, back scratch
and 8-foot up-and-go tests. Full detailed information on test ad-
ministration and protocols can be found in Rikli and Jones
[24] .
Body Mass Index
Height and body mass were recorded using a portable stadi-
ometer and balance weighing scales, respectively. Body mass in-
dex (BMI) was calculated using the standard formula: mass (kg)/
height
2
(m).
D e t r a i n i n g
Following completion of the multicomponent training, sub-
jects in the EG and the CG were instructed to carry on their nor-
mal lifestyles and avoid any type of systematic exercise for 12
weeks. During detraining, subjects were contacted systematically
to ensure that they were not engaged in regular exercise.
Attendance Rate
Attendance rate for the exercise group was calculated by divid-
ing the number of exercise sessions achieved by participants
by the full amount of sessions they were expected to perform
throughout the study (2/week ! 32 weeks = 64 sessions).
T r a i n i n g P r o t o c o l
The 8-month training protocol was held twice per week and
each session lasted about 60 min, in the same room, at 3 pm. The
sessions were conducted by a physical education instructor with
specialization in older adults training and consisted of 5 parts:
(1) Five to eight minutes of general warm-up activity, includ-
ing slow walk, calisthenics and stretching exercises, started off
the sessions.
(2) Aerobic exercises involving walking, jogging, dance, aero-
bics and step choreographies for 20–25 min, minimum of 10 min
per episode
[8] ; intensity was maintained at 12–14 in the Borg rat-
ing of perceived exertion (RPE)
[25] . Moreover, in order to evalu-
ate the intensity of aerobic exercises and detect workloads that rise
above moderate intensity, the talk test was also used.
(3) Muscular endurance exercises were performed in a circuit,
involving stair stepping, knee flexion, arm raise, shoulder abduc-
tion, shoulder adduction, shoulder rotation, squatting, biceps
curl, triceps extensions, toe raise, modified push-up, abdominal
crunch and hip extension, with a 40- to 60-second rest period be-
tween sets. Weight resistance was performed using elastic bands
and free weights. In order to allow a proper familiarization with
the exercises with the correct and safe technique of execution and
breathing, training intensity was lower during the first month.
Participants performed, initially, 8 repetitions in a single set. The
intensity gradually progressed over time from 12–13 RPE to 1416
RPE. The repetitions were increased until 15 and the number of
sets increased up to 3 (in those subjects that easily performed 12
or more repetitions in the 2 sets).
(4) Agility and reaction time exercises were mainly performed
with games, including changes of direction and velocity, response
to diverse stimulus, balance training with static (exercises pro-
gressing from feet apart to feet together and then to a single-leg
stance; thereafter, the same exercises were performed with eyes
closed; over time, the reliance on a hand support was gradually
decreased) and dynamic exercises (for example, walking on a
straight line, walking heel to toe) were performed using sticks,
balls and balloons for 510 min.
(5) At the end of each session, there was 5 min of a cool-down
period involving respiratory and flexibility exercises targeting the
upper and lower body (hands, triceps, lower back, chest, hip flex-
ors, quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, calf soleus and achil-
les tendon). The flexibility training included static and dynamic
stretching techniques. Subjects performed 34 repetitions for
each stretch; when performing a static stretch, the muscle was
lengthened across the joint, held in a position of mild discomfort
for a period of 10–30 s and then relaxed. The resting period ranged
from 30 to 40 s between stretches.
Statistical Analysis
All data were analyzed with SPSS (version 15.0) for Windows.
Data are reported as means 8 SD. Descriptive statistics and tests
for normality (Shapiro-Wilks test) were performed for all out-
come variables.
Repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance was used
to examine differences within and between groups over time.
When F values were significant, post hoc mean comparisons were
analyzed with least significant difference multiple comparisons
test. The significance level was set at p ! 0.05.
The delta percentage ( %) was calculated via the standard for-
mula:
% = [(posttest score – pretest score)/pretest score] ! 100.
The meaningfulness of the outcomes was estimated through
the effect size (ES, means divided by the standard deviation): 0.2
or less is a small ES, about 0.5 is a moderate ES and 0.8 or more is
a large ES
[26] .
R e s u l t s
Of the 57 participants who underwent initial assess-
ment, 32 in the EG and 25 in the CG, none dropped out
of the program and all participants in the EG completed
the 8-month multicomponent training. Subjects in the
EG attended 91% of the exercise sessions (range 84100%).
There were no differences among the groups at baseline
for age, height, weight or BMI ( table 1 ).
Table 1. Physical characteristics of both EG (n= 32) and CG (n=
25)
EG CG
Age, years
68.482.93 69.684.20
Body height, cm
154.580.08 160.580.07
Body weight, kg
64.887.84 67.088.58
BMI
27.282.91 25.982.60
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Carvalho/Marques/Mota
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4
Table 2 shows the results for each of the functional fit-
ness tests and BMI for the EG at baseline, after training
and after detraining compared with the CG. The baseline
values for each of the functional fitness tests and BMI did
not differ between groups.
After the 8-month training period, there was signifi-
cant improvement (p ! 0.05) in lower and upper strength,
lower and upper flexibility as well as agility/dynamic bal-
ance for the EG, whereas in the CG, results of the repeat-
ed-measures multivariate analysis of variance revealed
that all scores on the functional fitness tests were signifi-
cantly lower after 8 months than those observed at base-
line and that BMI was significantly higher.
In the EG, after 3 months of detraining, there was sig-
nificant loss in performance on chair stand, arm curl,
chair sit-and-reach and back scratch tests. Nevertheless,
chair stand (p ! 0.003) and chair sit-and-reach (p ! 0.003)
remained significantly higher than before training. In
the CG, no significant changes occurred in chair stand,
8-foot up-and-go, 6-min walk and BMI. However, like in
the EG, there were significant declines in arm curl, chair
sit-and-reach and back scratch after the following period
of 3 months.
Training resulted in a significant difference between
groups in chair stand (p ! 0.001), arm curl (p ! 0.001),
chair sit-and-reach (p ! 0.001), 8-foot up-and-go (p !
0.001), back scratch (p = 0.001) and 6-min walk (p = 0.003)
tests. Likewise, detraining analyses still showed a signif-
icant differences between groups in chair stand (p =
0.002), arm curl (p = 0.03), chair sit-and-reach (p ! 0.001),
8-foot up-and-go (p ! 0.001) and 6-min walk (p = 0.027)
tests.
The absolute changes over the 8-month intervention
and 3-months detraining periods for functional fitness
outcomes are presented in figure 1 . As illustrated, subjects
in the EG showed improved upper and lower strength
(+2.8 and +3.8 repetitions) as well as upper and lower
flexibility (+3.9 and +4.8 cm), but decreased time needed
Table 2. Changes of functional fitness tests and BMI over experimental protocol in both groups
EG CG F p
mean 8 SD
%
SP
mean 8 SD
%
SP
Chair stand, repetitions B
13.981.6
1.0
14.681.6
0.979 2.355 0.131
AT
17.782.1
a
27.3
12.781.5
a
–13.0 2.355 0.000
AD
15.382.7
a, b
–13.5
12.982.6
a
1.6 11.015 0.002
Arm curl, repetitions B
15.582.3
1.0
16.481.9
0.999 2.379 0.129
AT
18.281.5
a
17.4
14.681.6
a
–10.9 80.228 0.000
AD
14.882.0
b
–18.7
13.582.5
a, b
–7.5 4.982 0.030
Chair sit-and-reach, cm B
–5.484.7
1.0
–8.286.6
1.000 3.550 0.065
AT
–0.684.6
a
17.4
–12.486.9
a
–17.0 60.186 0.000
AD
–3.484.4
a, b
–8.6
–16.087.5
a, b
–17.5 63.352 0.000
Back scratch, cm B
–10.087.6
0.988
–8.886.9
0.958 0.379 0.540
AT
–6.186.9
a
14.5
–12.888.1
a
–14.2 11.366 0.001
AD
–9.889.7
b
–12.0
–14.8810.2
a, b
–8.1 3.493 0.067
8-foot up-and-go, s B
6.180.7
0.988
6.180.9
0.895 0.019 0.892
AT
5.480.4
a
11.0
6.580.9
a
–6.5 42.624 0.000
AD
5.680.8
a
–3.7
6.781.2
a
–3.1 21.806 0.000
6-min walk, m B
499.1844.7
0.219
509.0864.8
0.951 0.469 0.496
AT
514.8828.1
3.1
480.2855.4
a
–5.7 9.430 0.003
AD
509.8863.8
–0.9
470.8864.7
a
–1.9 5.191 0.027
BMI B
27.282.9
0.092
25.982.6
0.763 2.642 0.110
AT
27.283.0
0.0
26.482.7
a
1.9 1.150 0.288
AD
27.483.2
0.7
26.582.7
a
0.4 1.086 0.302
B = Baseline; AT = after training; AD = after detraining; SP = statistical power.
a
Significant difference versus baseline, p < 0.05.
b
Significant difference versus after training, p < 0.05.
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Training and Detraining Effects on
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5
to perform the 8-foot up-and-go test (0.7 s). The dis-
tance covered during the 6-min walk test also increased
(+15.8 m) after training, although not significantly. On
the other hand, all functional fitness outcomes were de-
creased in the CG after 8 months compared with base-
line.
In the EG, there was significantly decreased upper and
lower strength (3.4 and –2.4 repetitions) as well as upper
and lower flexibility (3.7 cm and –2.8 cm) after 3 months
of detraining. On the other hand, the decrease in distance
covered during the 6-min walk test (–5 m), the more time
needed to perform the 8-foot up-and-go test (+0.1 s) and
the increase in BMI (+0.1) were not significant.
As shown in table 3 , the major training effect (ES =
1.8) was in the chair stand, arm curl and up-and-go tests
for the EG and in the chair stand (ES = 1.3) and arm curl
test (1.1) for the CG. Additionally, detraining endorsed a
large ES for the chair stand (ES = 0.8) and arm curl (ES =
1.7) tests in the EG. The ES was moderate for the chair
sit-and-reach test (ES = 0.5) and small (ES ^ 0.4) for the
other measurements in the CG.
Discussion
The major finding of this study was that after 3 months
of detraining, older women were unable to maintain the
increases achieved, not only in lower and upper strength,
but also in lower and upper flexibility, after 8 months of
multicomponent training. Furthermore, the physical pa-
–30
20
–25
–20
–15
–10
–5
0
5
10
15
6-min walk (m)
15.8
–28.8
BMI
0
0.4
8-foot up -and-go (s)
–0.7
0.4
Back scratch
(cm)
3.9
–4.0
Chair sit-and-reach
(cm)
4.8
–4.2
Arm curl
(repetitions)
2.8
–1.7
Chair stand
(repetitions)
3.8
–1.9
Training
6-min walk (m)
–5.0
–9.4
BMI
0.1 0.1
8-foot up -and-go (s)
0.1
0.2
Back scratch
(cm)
–3.7
–2.0
Chair sit-and-reach
(cm)
–2.8
–3.6
Arm curl
(repetitions)
–3.4
–1.2
Chair stand
(repetitions)
–2.4
Detraining
0.2
EG
CG
Fig. 1. Absolute mean changes in test results after 8-month training and 3-month detraining in both EG and CG.
Table 3. ES of training and detraining in both EG and CG
ES
EG CG
AT AD AT AD
Chair stand 1.80 0.80 1.30 0.07
Arm curl 1.80 1.70 1.10 0.40
Chair sit-and-reach 1.00 0.60 0.60 0.50
Back scratch 0.60 0.40 0.50 0.20
8-foot up-and-go 1.80 0.30 0.40 0.20
6-min walk 0.60 0.08 0.50 0.10
BMI 0.00 0.06 0.20 0.03
AT = After training; AD = after detraining.
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Carvalho/Marques/Mota
Gerontology 297
6
rameters less affected by detraining were agility/dynam-
ic balance, aerobic endurance and BMI.
Although previous investigations have exposed an
age-related functional decline, the trainability of older
adults is well known
[27, 28] . Our data showed that train-
ing period improved performance in the chair stand, arm
curl, chair sit-and-reach, back scratch and up-and-go
tests. There were no significant increases on the 6-min
walk test and BMI. After 3 months of detraining, perfor-
mances in the chair stand, arm curl, chair sit-and-reach
and back scratch tests had declined significantly. There-
fore, these results suggest that exercise training has a po-
tential effect protecting participants against functional
declines associated with age. Further, our data also sug-
gest that detraining periods should be avoided.
Loss of muscle strength and mass with age in humans
is well documented
[7, 29] , these changes being most pro-
nounced in women
[7] . Increased physical activity has
been considered as an important therapeutic tool for the
attenuation of this loss. Our results are similar to those
studies that reported improved strength after multicom-
ponent training in older adults, assessed with arm curl
and chair stand tests
[2, 10, 30] . The underlying justifica-
tions of flexibility losses with aging have been associated
with muscle disuse and soft tissue restraints such as col-
lagen alterations, mechanical stress, degenerative diseas-
es and disuse
[7] , and are obviously related to a deteriora-
tion of functional abilities of older individuals
[6, 14] .
Studies have shown both significant positive and no sig-
nificant effects of exercise on a range of motion of joints
in older adults, depending on the duration of the pro-
gram, sample size, rate of attrition, measurement tech-
nique and the training protocol
[5, 31, 32] . The results of
the present study demonstrated that older women were
able to gain significant upper and lower body range of
motion after 8 months of training. A stretching compo-
nent targeting the major muscle groups and performed in
all training sessions might have been the primary reason
for improved flexibility scores in our study. Although our
flexibility exercises had only been performed twice per
week during the training period, the minimal amount
recommended by the ACSM
[7] was performed.
The 6-min walk test has been recognized as an indica-
tor of aerobic endurance
[24] that is widely associated
with the functional capacity to perform various activities
of daily living
[7, 33] . Although most studies reported that
multicomponent training can help to maintain and im-
prove endurance performance in elderly
[2, 4, 34, 35] , no
significant increase in 6-min walk test performance was
found in the present study. The reasons for this inconsis-
tency might be the differences in methods used to deter-
mine aerobic endurance, intensity and the nature of
training between the present study and previous studies.
Although our aerobic exercises were in accordance with
the recommended duration and intensity [7] , probably
the frequency twice per week was not enough to signifi-
cantly improve the aerobic capacity of our sample. Fur-
thermore, the use of the Borg RPE scale
[25] may have
influenced our results. Despite being a common and rea-
sonably valid scale to evaluate and quantify physical ac-
tivity intensity and therefore being considered a useful
instrument for aerobic exercise prescription
[9] , the sub-
jectively perceived exertion can underestimate relative
exercise intensity.
The improvements in agility/dynamic balance sup-
port the concept that older adults are able to improve
their agility and balance by multicomponent training
[2,
4, 30, 34]
. Probably, these agility/dynamic balance im-
provements might be related to increased muscular
strength observed during the training period. In fact, Ry-
ushi et al.
[36] demonstrated that better balance was due
to rises in muscular strength in older adults. Addition-
ally, specific balance activities used in the present study
may possibly have stimulated additional benefits
[9] . Be-
cause the present training protocol intended to improve
functional capacity and not especially to reduce body
weight, minimal effects on BMI were found. Further-
more, the results support the concept that physical exer-
cise alone without dieting (caloric restriction) seems to
have only a modest effect on total body mass and fat mass
loss
[37, 38] .
Regarding the effects of detraining in functional fit-
ness, the results of this study demonstrated that func-
tional gains observed during the training period decrease
after 3 months of detraining. While multicomponent
studies have shown similar decreases in strength, aerobic
endurance and agility/dynamic balance
[10, 11] , our data
differ from those reported by previous studies who
showed that increases in muscle strength can be main-
tained after 24 weeks
[11] , 27 weeks [6] and 31 weeks [15]
of detraining in older adults. However, both Schlicht et
al.
[6] and Hakkinen et al. [15] examined the effects of
detraining after single-focus strength training. More-
over, the initial levels of physical activity and functional
capacity, gender differences, duration of the detraining
period, age and the method of evaluation used could be
possible explanations for the discrepancy between re-
sults. It is important to note that losses in muscular
strength have been related to difficulties in daily living
activities such as climbing stairs, walking, transfers, gait,
GER297.indd 6GER297.indd 6 30.05.2008 09:13:4530.05.2008 09:13:45
Training and Detraining Effects on
Functional Fitness in Older Women
Gerontology 297
7
balance, falling, dressing and shopping [39] . Therefore,
these negative effects of detraining in functional fitness
will probably compromise the capacity of older adults to
accomplish daily tasks more easily and with less fatigue.
Our findings that upper and lower flexibility decreased
after detraining are consistent with previous multicom-
ponent training studies in older people
[10, 11] . However,
that even after 3 months of detraining, the chair sit-and-
reach test performance remained significantly higher
than before training suggests the higher value of physical
activity programs in older women. Emphasis on flexibil-
ity training may help to retain functionality that is im-
portant for autonomy as well as for fall and injury preven-
tion of older adults
[28] .
This study has some important limitations. First, there
was no assessment of subjects’ daily physical activity lev-
els and dietary regimens throughout the investigation.
Second, there was no assessment of subjects’ physical ac-
tivity during detraining. Since seasonality may influence
physical activity patterns
[40] and considering that the 3
months of detraining were carried out in the summer, a
more precise quantification of the physical activity levels
of our sample would be of importance. However, even
hypothesizing that these could enhance physical activity
levels during the detraining period, there were signifi-
cant decreases in the performance of several functional
fitness tests. At last, there were no follow-up data during
the detraining period for both groups.
In summary, the results of the present study high-
light
that a period of 3 months of detraining following 8
months of multicomponent training significantly im-
pairs the major part of the favorable functional changes
obtained after training. Muscle strength was the compo-
nent of functional fitness most affected by detraining.
Therefore, our data reinforce the idea that older adults
should be engaged in a systematic exercise program
throughout life in order to improve or maintain func-
tional performance.
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    • "Other measures of physical fitness seem to exhibit greater declines in performance than functional mobility. For example, significant declines in strength [22, 33, 34], reactive balance [35], reaching [22], chair stand repetitions [22], chair rising time [36], 6-min walk distance [36], and flexibility [36] have been observed. This literature suggests that these measures may present signs of deterioration before functional mobility perhaps because the TUG involves a number of balance systems. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and aimsThe purpose was to explore the impact of balance and mobility training (BMT), balance and mobility plus cognitive training (BMT + C) and no training on the timed up and go (TUG), TUG cognitive (TUGcog), and TUG manual (TUGman) in older adults. A preliminary experiment examined the stability of these TUG measures over a 5-week period in older adults. Methods Fifteen participants in the BMT group (70.2 ± 3.2 years) and 14 participants in the BMT + C group (68.7 ± 5.5 years) trained one-on-one, 3×/week for 12 weeks on a balance obstacle course. The BMT group and the BMT + C group completed two or three tasks simultaneously, respectively. Fifteen participants in the control group received no training (66.7 ± 4.2 years). The TUG, TUGcog, and TUGman were measured in seconds at baseline, after the 12-week training, and after the 12-week follow-up. During the preliminary experiment, ten participants (67.0 ± 6.9 years) completed the three TUG measures 1/week for 5 weeks. ResultsBoth the BMT and BMT + C groups, but not the control group, exhibited significantly faster TUG, TUGcog, and TUGman after the intervention and maintained these improvements at the 12-week follow-up. No differences between the BMT and BMT + C groups emerged. The preliminary experiment showed that the three TUG measures were stable across five testing sessions. Discussion and conclusionBoth training groups improved functional mobility after the interventions and sustained these improvements over 12 weeks. This is likely not a function of repeating the TUG, TUGcog, and TUGman tests since no repeated exposure effect was shown.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2016
    • "Os decréscimos observados na força muscular poderão resultar em parte, pelos fatores neurais que com a sua não ativação levam a alterações na velocidade e frequência de ativação e na sincronização das unidades motoras (Fleck & Kraemer, 2004 ). Comparando os resultados obtidos ao nível da força muscular verificamos que estes estão em linha com os de Carvalho et al. (2009) no teste de levantar e sentar (decréscimos de 9%) e são inferiores no teste de flexão do antebraço (19%), com a mesma duração de três meses de destreino, e inferiores aos de Toraman (2005), que observou após seis semanas de destreino decréscimos de 24% no teste de levantar e sentar e 15% no teste de flexão do antebraço, e após cinquenta e duas semanas de destreino decréscimos de 74% no teste levantar e sentar e 44% no teste de flexão de antebraço. A diminuição da força muscular poderá ser um dos motivos para a quebra de 3%-8% na performance do teste de agilidade\equilíbrio, e para a quebra de 4%-6% na capacidade cardiorrespiratória observados no nosso estudo. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A atividade física proporciona benefícios para a saúde e qualidade de vida de mulheres idosas. Ainda são escassos os estudos longitudinais em mulheres idosas com duração superior a um ano de prática de exercício físico. Assim o objetivo do estudo foi analisar os efeitos de três anos de treino multicomponente na capacidade funcional de mulheres idosas. Métodos: 51 mulheres (66.7±5.30 anos e 159±0.11cm) participaram ao longo de três anos num programa constituído por períodos de nove meses de treino multicomponente seguidos de três meses de destreino. As avaliações decorreram no início/fim de cada período de treino e destreino. Resultados: No 1º, 2º e 3º ano verificaram-se aumentos estatisticamente significativos em todos os parâmetros da capacidade funcional (p<0.05). No entanto, o 2º ano revelou ser o período de treino onde observamos os maiores aumentos nos testes T6M (7.43%), SA (383.33%), AC (40.33%), FA (13.05%) e LS (12.5%) (p<0.05). Os testes T6M, LS, FA, AC, SA melhoraram entre 4.17% a 576.60% em todos os períodos de treino e diminuíram entre 3.21% a 85.31% em todos os períodos de destreino. Conclusões: Três anos de treino multicomponente contribuíram para a melhoria da capacidade funcional em mulheres idosas, principalmente no 2º ano de intervenção.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015
    • "Over the last few years, we have come across the term successful aging, which refers to physiological and psychological characteristics of and individual rather than population average [14]. Most of aging-associated factors may be positively affected by regular exercise [3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 23, 26, 28]. Among important terms used in the field of physical activity and inactivity of older people is the term 'functional fitness', which includes components such as lower and upper body muscle strength, lower and upper body flexibility, aerobic endurance, motor agility/dynamic balance, and body-mass index [26]. "
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Motricidade
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