ENDURANCE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS ARE LIMITED EVEN IN PREVIOUSLY SEDENTARY OLDER INDIVIDUALS
Boyd, K. M., Palmer, D., Livingston, S., Parker, R., Riley, J., & Levine, B. D. (2014). “You get what you pay for”: Fitness improves only with increases in training load. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46(5), Supplement abstract number 917.
This study quantified one year of aerobic training and examined its relationship to changes in aerobic capacity (VO2max) in healthy sedentary older adults (M = 10; F = 20). Ss completed one year of progressive, moderate intensity, aerobic exercise training beginning at three days/week and plateauing at four days/week at six months into the program. Aerobic capacity was determined via a maximal exercise test using the Douglas Bag method prior to, at six months, and immediately following the training experience. Quantification of aerobic training was completed using Training Impulse (TRIMP) scores. Heart rate monitors were worn in each training session.
VO2max increased from 23.2 ml/kg/min to 25.0 ml/kg/min at six months and then plateaued at 25.4 ml/kg/min at one year. At six and twelve months, monthly average TRIMP scores were 800 and 893, respectively. At six months, higher TRIMP scores were associated with a greater change in VO2max. From six to twelve months changes in TRIMP scores were not associated with changes in VO2max.
Implication. During the first six months of an initial year of progressive endurance training in previously older sedentary Ss, increases in workload measured via TRIMP scores were related to increases in aerobic capacity. However, despite six months of continued training with little change in training loads, no further changes in endurance measures were observed. It is possible that TRIMP scores are only useful for indicating initial physiological/fitness changes in previously untrained individuals.
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