Physiological Adaptations to a Concurrent Sprint Interval and Resistance Training Program in Aging Women
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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PURPOSE: To investigate the physiological adaptations to a high intensity concurrent exercise training (CET) program composed of Sprint Interval Training (SIT) and Resistance Exercise Training (RET) in recreationally active women ages 40-64. A secondary purpose of this investigation was to determine whether the addition of vertical incline to SIT produces significant adaptive body composition and aerobic capacity responses than level grade SIT CET in this cohort. METHODS: Seventy-six healthy, recreationally active females (52.2 ±7.2 yrs; 2.1 L•min-1 Abs VO2max; 72.7 ± 15.3 kgs) volunteered for the 12 week CET study. Preliminary and post testing consisted of 1 repetition max (1 RM) back squat, 1 RM bench press, body composition assessment through Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (iDEXA) and aerobic capacity measures including maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). Prior to the start of the intervention, participants were pair matched according to baseline VO2max values and randomly assigned into either level grade (0%) SIT (CSIT0) CET or incline (6%) SIT (CSIT6) CET experimental groups. Participants attended 3 training sessions per week, each entailing of concurrent undulating periodization RET and SIT protocol consisting of 40 second sprints at speed and/or incline to incite 95% of each participant’s age-predicted maximal heart rate (HRmax), performed in alternating order at the same time each day. RESULTS: Significant interactions for time were observed in body composition parameters including upper and lower body muscular strength (1 RM back squat and bench press, P < 0.0001), fat mass (P = 0.002) and visceral adipose tissue (P = 0.048). Aerobic capacity improvements were observed for time to exhaustion during maximal test (Tmax), speed required to achieve 95% of HRmax (Vmax) and VO2max (P < 0.0001). No significant effects between groups were observed for any other measures. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that the combination of high intensity interval and resistance training results in significant improvements in aerobic capacity, body composition and muscular strength in aging women 40-64 years of age. This CET protocol provides the proper stimulus for physiological adaptive responses which may prevent age and physical inactivity-related declines; therefore supporting proper body composition, aerobic capacity and functional ability in older adults.