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Neuromuscular adaptations to concurrent training in the elderly: effects of intrasession exercise sequence

Abstract

The aim of this study was investigate the effects of different intrasession exercise orders in the neuromuscular adaptations induced by concurrent training in elderly. Twenty-six healthy elderly men (64.7 ± 4.1 years), were placed into two concurrent training groups: strength prior to (SE, n = 13) or after (ES, n = 13) endurance training. Subjects trained strength and endurance training during 12 weeks, three times per week performing both exercise types in the same training session. Upper and lower body one maximum repetition test (1RM) and lower-body isometric peak torque (PTiso) and rate of force development were evaluated as strength parameters. Upper and lower body muscle thickness (MT) was determined by ultrasonography. Lower-body maximal surface electromyographic activity of vastus lateralis and rectus femoris muscles (maximal electromyographic (EMG) amplitude) and neuromuscular economy (normalized EMG at 50 % of pretraining PTiso) were determined. Both SE and ES groups increased the upper- and lower-body 1RM, but the lower-body 1RM increases observed in the SE was higher than ES (35.1 ± 12.8 vs. 21.9 ± 10.6 %, respectively; P < 0.01). Both SE and ES showed MT increases in all muscles evaluated, with no differences between groups. In addition, there were increases in the maximal EMG and neuromuscular economy of vastus lateralis in both SE and ES, but the neuromuscular economy of rectus femoris was improved only in SE (P < 0.001). Performing strength prior to endurance exercise during concurrent training resulted in greater lower-body strength gains as well as greater changes in the neuromuscular economy (rectus femoris) in elderly.

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Acknowledgments

The authors specially thank FAPERGS, CAPES, CNPq, and FINEP Brazilian Government Associations for support to this project. The authors are also indebted to the Spanish Ministry of Health, Institute Carlos III, Department of Health of the Government of Navarra and the Government of Spain, and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for financing this research with grants RD06/013/1003 and 87/2010 and DEP2011-24105, respectively. We also acknowledge Mr. Matheus Conceição, Dr. Giovani Cunha, and Prof. Guilherme Trindade for their help in data collection and analysis. Furthermore, we also gratefully acknowledge all subjects who participated in this research and made this project possible.

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Correspondence to Eduardo Lusa Cadore.

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Cadore, E.L., Izquierdo, M., Pinto, S.S. et al. Neuromuscular adaptations to concurrent training in the elderly: effects of intrasession exercise sequence. AGE 35, 891–903 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-012-9405-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-012-9405-y

Keywords

  • Combined training
  • Electromiography
  • Muscle thickness
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Resistance exercise