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  • Foto del escritorGermán Vicente-Rodriguez


Actualizado: 1 feb 2022


Á.I. Fernández-García1, A. Gómez-Bruton1, A. Moradell1, D. Navarrete-Villanueva1, M. González-Gross, J. G. Vila-Vicente3, J. Pérez-Gómez4, I. Ara5, J.A. Casajús1, A. Gómez-Cabello1, G. Vicente-Rodríguez1

Muscle power is strongly associated with physical function, frailty, and it is a predictor of functional limitations in older adults (1). However, it declines at a faster rate compared to muscle mass or strength. Therefore, the study aimed to analyse the effects of a 6-month multicomponent training (MCT) and the consequences of a 4-month detraining period on lower limb relative power of older adults with limited functional capacity.

A total of 65 older adults (47 women; 81,1 ± 6.0 y.) were divided into a control (CON: 24) or training group (TRAIN) following a quasi-experimental design. The TRAIN performed a 6-month MCT, while CON continued with their usual lifestyle. In order to participate in the study, participants had to be older than 65y and scored between 4 to 9 points in the Short Physical Performance Battery. Lower limb relative power was assessed by validated equations (1), taking into account the time needed to complete the five sit-to-stand repetitions test and using participants’ height, and chair height. Evaluations were performed at baseline, at the end of the MCT (6-months) and after the detraining period (10-months). Analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) for repeated measures, adjusting by gender and age were performed to evaluate the effects of training and detraining on power.

The TRAIN improved their relative lower limb power after MCT (1.26 ± 0.10 W•kg-1) and worsened it after the detraining period (-0.56 ± 0.09 W•kg-1; all p<0.05). Nevertheless, the level after detraining was higher than baseline (0.70 ± 0.10 W•kg-1; p<0.05). On the other hand, CON showed an improvement after 6-month and 10-month periods with respect to baseline (0.54 ± 0.13 W•kg-1 and 0.45 ± 0.14 W•kg-1 respectively; both p<0.05). Between groups comparisons showed that TRAIN obtained better performance than CON after MCT (3.12 ± 0.13 W•kg-1 vs 2.29 ± 0.17 W•kg-1; p<0.005), although no differences were found between groups after detraining period. Group by time interactions were found for the 6-month MCT, the next 4-month of detraining and the whole 10-month study (all p<0.05).

Although at a lower extent, the CON participants also improve the power, maybe due to the familiarization with the test, higher motivation derived from the healthy lifestyle talks or other unknown causes, the MCT seems to be an effective strategy to improve relative lower limb power in older adults with functional limitations. The 4-month detraining period reduced the magnitude of the improvement witnessed immediately after the MCT, although this was still significantly superior to baseline levels. Result suggests that the shorter the non-training period the best for keeping the benefits of training.


1. Baltasar-Fernández, I., Alcázar, J., Mañas, A., Alegre, L. M., Alfaro-Acha, A., Rodriguez-Mañas, L., García-García, FJ & Losa-Reyna, J. (2021). Relative sit-to-stand power cut-off points and their association with negatives outcomes in older adults. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-10.

2. Alcazar, J., Losa-Reyna, J., Rodriguez-Lopez, C., Alfaro-Acha, A., Rodriguez-Mañas, L., Ara, I., García-García, FJ., & Alegre, L. M. (2018). The sit-to-stand muscle power test: an easy, inexpensive and portable procedure to assess muscle power in older people. Experimental Gerontology, 112, 38-43.

Affiliations: 1 GENUD (Growth, Exercise, NUtrition and Development) Research Group, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.

2 ImFine Research Group. Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte-INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

3 Grupo de Investigación VALFIS, Instituto de Biomedicina (IBIOMED). Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte. Universidad de León. Spain

4 HEME (Health, Economy, Motricity and Education) research group. University of Extremadura, Cáceres 10003. Spain

5 GENUD Toledo Research Group, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain

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