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AGE

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 2329–2344 | Cite as

How to simultaneously optimize muscle strength, power, functional capacity, and cardiovascular gains in the elderly: an update

  • Cadore EL
  • Izquierdo M
Article

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to review the scientific literature that investigated concurrent training adaptations in elderly populations, with the aim of identifying the optimal combination of both training program variables (i.e., strength and endurance) to avoid or minimize the interference effect in the elderly. Scielo, Science Citation Index, MEDLINE, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and ScienceDirect databases were searched. Concurrent training is the most effective strategy by which to improve neuromuscular and cardiorespiratory functions as well as functional capacity in the elderly. The volume and frequency of training appears to play a critical role in concurrent training-induced adaptations in elderly subjects. Furthermore, new evidence indicates that the intra-session exercise order may influence the magnitude of physiological adaptations. Despite the interference effect on strength gains that is caused by concurrent training, this type of training is advantageous in that the combination of strength and endurance training produces both neuromuscular and cardiovascular adaptations in the elderly. The interference phenomenon may be observed in elderly subjects when a moderate weekly volume of concurrent training (i.e., three times per week) is performed. However, even with the occurrence of this phenomenon, the performance of three concurrent training sessions per week appears to optimize the strength gains in relative brief periods of training (12 weeks). Moreover, performing strength prior to endurance exercise may optimize both neuromuscular and cardiovascular gains.

Keywords

Aging Combined training Physical training Neural adaptations Muscle mass 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are indebted to the Spanish Department of Health and Institute Carlos III of the Government of Spain [Spanish Net on Aging and frailty; (RETICEF)] and the Department of Health of the Government of Navarre and Economy and Competitiveness Department of the Government of Spain for financing this research, with grants numbered RD06/013/1003, 87/2010, and DEP2011-24105, respectively. The authors are also indebted to the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES—Brazil).

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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exercise Research Laboratory, Physical Education SchoolFederal University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Health SciencesPublic University of NavarreTudelaSpain

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