Responses of old men to repeated bouts of eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors in comparison with young men.Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Jul; 97(5):619-26.EJ
A bout of eccentric exercise confers protection against subsequent bouts of the same exercise. This study investigated whether the protective effect would be produced similarly between old and young adults. Eight old men (70.5 +/- 4.1 years) and ten young men (20.4 +/- 2.0 years) performed two bouts of eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors (six sets of five eccentric actions) separated by 4 weeks. Changes in maximal isometric strength, range of motion (ROM), upper arm circumference (CIR), plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity, myoglobin (Mb) concentration, and muscle soreness (SOR) before, immediately after, and 1, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h following exercise were compared between bouts, and between groups by a two-way repeated measures ANOVA. Changes in the measures following the first bout were significantly (P < 0.05) smaller for the old than the young group. The young group showed significantly (P < 0.05) smaller changes in all measures following the second bout than the first bout; however, the old group had the protective effect only for ROM, Mb, and SOR. The magnitude of the effect observed for ROM and Mb concentration in the old group was significantly (P < 0.05) smaller compared with that of the young group. These results suggest that the protective effect conferred by the first bout was less for the old than the young group. This may be due to the less muscle damage after the first bout in the old subjects, but it is also possible that the protective effect of old adults does not last as long as that of young adults.