An alarming fact is that people begin to loose muscle mass in their 30’s and this loss accelerates in the 50’s to the point that a major reason older adults can no longer live independently is the loss of strength and power needed for basic tasks 1. The most effective exercise for maintaining muscle mass and function, especially in older adults, is ‘power training’ because it activates both the muscle and the nervous system 2, 3. Having sufficient muscular power is what enables a person to catch themselves after tripping, thus avoiding a fall and possible catastrophic consequences. A recent study followed 40 men and women ages 50-70 y before and after an eight week training program of doing 10 minute workouts using Power-Cycle on three days per week 4. These repeated bouts of ‘all-out’ 4-second sprints resulted in significant increases in leg muscle size, strength, and power while also developing aerobic endurance (i.e.; VO2max). Equally important, these ‘baby-boomer’ participants enjoyed the 10 minute training bouts as evidenced by almost perfect adherence. This same training is also highly effective in young adults 5.
1) Larsson L, Degens H, Li M, Salviati L, Il Lee Y, Thompson W, Kirkland JL, and Sandri M. Sarecpenia: aging related loss of muscle mass and function. Physiological Reviews 99: 427-511, 2019.
2) Coyle EF, Feiring DC, Rotkis TC, Cote RW, Roby FB, Lee W, and Wilmore JH. Specificity of power improvements through slow and fast isokinetic training. Journal of Applied Physiology 51: 1437-1442, 1981.
3) Fielding RA, LeBrasseur NK, Cuoco A, Bean J, Mizer K, and Singh MAF. High-velocity resistance training increases skeletal muscle peak power in older women. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 50: 655-662, 2002.
4) Allen JR, Satiroglu R, Vardarli E, Laico A, Wolfe A, and Coyle EF. Inertial Load Sprint Training Improves Neuromuscular Power in Older Adults. Innovation in Aging.. 3(S1): 171, 2019,
5) Satiroglu R. Effects of short duration high intensity interval training on peak oxygen consumption. Master’s Thesis. University of Texas at Austin, 2020.