A Comparative Study on the Effects of Eccentric Flywheel Overload and Traditional Resistance Training on the Physiological/Functional Performance in Healthy Older Adults
Introduction: Older adults experience certain deleterious effects associated with aging among which include; declines in muscle strength, muscle mass, motor unit activation, muscle power and functional performance. Two strength training methods (Traditional resistance training and Eccentric flywheel overload training) have been suggested as effective means of combating these age-related declines and are of interest to us in this study. Limited research exists however, ascertaining the superiority of either training method. Purpose: This research sought to compare the effects of eccentric flywheel overload training and traditional resistance training on muscle strength, muscle thickness, body composition (lean/fat mass) and functional performance in healthy older adults Methods: For inclusion, individuals had to be older adults aged 55 and above, healthy, active and untrained. Twenty-three participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the Eccentric Flywheel Overload Training group (EFOT) or the Traditional Resistance Training Group (TRT). Measurements included muscle strength, muscle thickness, body composition (lean and body mass) and functional performance (30s sit to stand, incremental shuttle walk test, functional reach test, and up and down stair climb power test) assessed pre/post. Results: Both training programs resulted in increases in isometric peak torque (p < .001), eccentric peak torque (p < .001), 4 repetition maximum back squat (p < .001), 4 repetition maximum bench press (p < .001) and 4 repetition maximum deadlift (p < .001) over time. There were also similar increases over time in lean mass (p < .001), 30s sit to stand (p < .001) and up and down stair climb power (p = .04) tests. Similar decreases in fat mass (p < .001) were also reported in both groups. No significant differences were found over time in both groups on muscle thickness, functional reach and incremental shuttle walk. Our study revealed there were no significant differences between groups over time. Conclusion: The present study indicates that both EFOT and TRT are similarly effective for improving isometric, and eccentric muscle strength, 4RM squat, bench press and deadlift, body composition (lean/fat mass), and functional performance (30s sit to stand and up and down stair climb power) in healthy older adults.
Master of Science (M.Sc.)