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Age Does Not Affect Exercise Intensity Progression among Women

Ciolac, Emmanuel G; Brech, Guilherme C; Greve, Júlia M D

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 11 - pp 3023-3031
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d09ef6
Original Research

Ciolac, EG, Brech, GC, and Greve, JMD. Age does not affect exercise intensity progression among women. J Strength Cond Res 24(11): 3023-3031, 2010-It has been recommended that the intensity of exercise training (ET) should progress slowly with lower increments in older than in young people. However, scientific evidence supporting this recommendation is lacking. Our aim was to examine possible influences of age on exercise intensity progression in healthy women. Seventeen young (29.1 ± 5.7 years) and 16 older women (64.5 ± 4.5 years) underwent 13 weeks of ET consisting of cycle ergometry (CE, 65-75% of reserve heart rate), whole-body resistance exercise (RE, 60% of 1 repetition maximum [1RM]), and stretching. Muscle strength was assessed before and after ET by the 1RM. Cycle ergometry and RE workloads were recorded for each exercise session, and increases of 5-10% were made whenever adaptation occurred. Absolute muscle strength after ET improved (p < 0.001) in both groups, and there were no significant differences between groups. Relative exercise intensity progression was not significantly different between groups for RE (Pearson's correlation = 0.98 ± 0.01), but it was greater in older women for CE (p = 0.047). The ET was safe because no injuries or major muscle pain was observed in either group. These results suggest that healthy older women are capable of exercising and increasing exercise intensity in the same way as young women.

Laboratory of Kinesiology, Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology, School of Medicine, University of Sa˜o Paulo, Sa˜o Paulo, Brazil

Address correspondence to Dr. Emmanuel Gomes Ciolac,

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association