The effects of inertial load ergometry training and pomegranate juice supplementation on muscle mass and aerobic power in older adults




Allen, Jakob Richard

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Skeletal muscle mass is a primary determinant of the ability to maintain autonomy later in life. The reductions in skeletal muscle mass, beginning after the 3 [superscript rd] decade of life influence not only the ability to produce maximal neuromuscular power (P [subscript max]), but possibly aerobic power generation. The primary purpose of study one was to investigate the effect of inertial load ergometry (ILE) training on skeletal muscle mass and cardiovascular function in untrained 50-70 year old subjects (n=30-39). Then secondarily, to determine whether pomegranate juice (POM) supplementation augments those changes compared to a placebo (PLA) group. Over the course of 8 weeks both groups performed exercise training 3 times per week. Each session involved repeated (15-30x) 4s sprints on the ILE, with each sprint designed to elicit maximal power while simultaneously maintaining an elevated oxygen consumption (VO₂) due to a relatively short 30-60 s recovery interval. Training increased thigh muscle volume (TMV) 3.7 ± 0.9% (p<0.001) for the entire population. Furthermore, in the entire population training increased Total Body Mass 1.36 ± 0.33%, Total Body Lean Mass (TBLM) 1.5 ± 0.4%, P [subscript max] 12.0 ± 1.5%, Peak Oxygen Consumption (VO₂peak) 9.8 ± 1.8%, Power at VO₂ [subscript peak] 8.2 ± 1.5%, Ventilatory Threshold (VT) 7.0 ± 2.4%, and functional tests of living 8.5 ± 1.3%, to 17.2 ± 2% (all p<0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in response to training between POM and PLA for any of these measures. These results show that 8 weeks of ILE training was effective at increasing muscle mass, cardiovascular capacity and functional tasks in untrained 50-70 year old adults, with no further effect of POM supplementation


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