Effects of high-intensity resistance training and low-intensity resistance training with vascular restriction on bone markers in older men
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The aim of this study was to examine and compare the effects of different resistance training protocols on bone marker concentrations in older men. Thirty-seven healthy older male subjects were assigned to one of three groups: high-intensity resistance training (HI-RT, age = 57.5 ± 0.8); low-intensity resistance training with vascular restriction (LI-VRT, age = 59.9 ± 1.0); and control (CON, age = 57.0 ± 1.1). Blood samples were collected before and after 6 weeks of resistance training to measure the changes in bone formation [bone alkaline phosphatase, (Bone ALP)] and resorption (C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of Type-I collagen, CTX) marker concentrations. A significant main effect for time was detected in Bone ALP to CTX ratio for the exercise groups (p < 0.05). There was a significant group effect for percentage changes in serum Bone ALP (21% for LI-VRT, 23% for HI-RT, and 4.7% for CON) and post hoc analysis identified significant increases in serum Bone ALP concentrations in LI-VRT (p = 0.03) and HI-RT (p = 0.02) when compared with CON. The exercise groups had significantly (p < 0.01) greater strength increases in all upper body and leg exercises compared with CON with no significant differences between the exercise groups except for leg extension strength (HI-RT > LI-VRT, p < 0.05). Serum concentrations of Bone ALP and Bone ALP to CTX ratio improved in both resistance training protocols, suggesting increased bone turnover with a balance favoring bone formation. Therefore, despite using low mechanical load, LI-VRT is a potentially effective training alternative to traditional HI-RT for enhancing bone health in older men.