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This study compares the effects of 6 months resistance-type exercise training (three times per week) between healthy elderly women (n = 24; 71 ± 1 years) and men (n = 29; 70 ± 1 years). Muscle mass (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry–computed tomography), strength (one-repetition maximum), functional capacity (sit-to-stand time), muscle fiber characteristics (muscle biopsies), and metabolic profile (blood samples) were assessed. Leg lean mass (3% ± 1%) and quadriceps cross-sectional area (9% ± 1%) increased similarly in both groups. One-repetition maximum leg extension strength increased by 42% ± 3% (women) and 43% ± 3% (men). Following training, type II muscle fiber size had increased, and a type II muscle fiber specific increase in myonuclear and satellite cell content was observed with no differences between genders. Sit-to-stand time decreased similarly in both groups. Glycemic control and blood lipid profiles improved to a similar extent in both women and men. A generic resistance-type exercise training program can be applied for both women and men to effectively counteract the loss of muscle mass and strength with aging.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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