The effects of eccentric resistance exercise are of interest in the older adult cohort, but to our knowledge, there is no research on the relative effects of different eccentric modalities on a range of outcomes in higher functioning, resistance trained older adults.
33 resistance-trained older adults (aged 67 ± 4.5 years) were randomized into one of three supervised training groups: traditional (TRE), eccentric only (ERE) or eccentrically biased resistance exercise (EBRE) on a 45°, plate-loaded leg press machine. Participants trained twice per week with maximal strength, functional capacity, body composition and blood biomarkers measured before and after the eight-week intervention.
Both eccentric and concentric strength, and important functional tasks for independent living significantly improved independent of group. Body composition and blood biomarkers were found to significantly improve in the EBRE group only however, no statistical differences were found between groups.
Compared to traditional resistance training, the two eccentric modalities investigated here were equally effective for improvements in maximum muscular strength, functional capacity, body composition and metabolic biomarkers. When training the resistance trained older adult, very heavy isoinertial external loads (at least 70% of one repetition maximum) are effective irrespective of contraction mode. With heavy strength training, resistance trained older adults can continue to expect improvements in health and function.