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Bursts of High-Intensity Interval Training Beneficial for Older Men

Sedentary men have improvement in peak power output after six-week HIIT intervention

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A low-volume, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program is effective for improving muscle power in older sedentary men, according to a letter to the editor published online Nov. 17 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Nicholas Sculthorpe, Ph.D., from the University of the West of Scotland in Hamilton, U.K., and colleagues conducted a trial in 33 healthy, lifelong sedentary men (mean age, 62 years). Participants were asymmetrically randomized to a training intervention (22 men) and a non-exercise control group (11 men). The intervention group underwent six weeks of conditioning exercise, followed by six weeks of HIIT (30 seconds of effort at 50 percent of peak power followed by three minutes of recovery), once every five days. The groups were assessed for peak power output (PPO) at baseline (Phase A); assessments were also conducted in the intervention group after conditioning and after HIIT (Phases B and C, respectively).

The researchers identified significant interactions for PPO and PPO relative to body mass (both P < 0.001). No changes were seen between Phases A and B, within or between groups. PPO had improved significantly more in the intervention versus the control group at phase C, and from Phases A and B to Phase C.

“The results of the present study indicate that low-volume, low-frequency HIIT programs are a feasible and effective method of improving indices of peak muscular power in sedentary but otherwise healthy aging men,” the authors write.

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