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Index: December 2010
Clinical Focus:Respiratory Care
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December 2010
Clinical Focus: Respiratory Medicine
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doi: 10.3810/psm.2021.12.13
The Physician and Sportsmedicine: Volume 36: No.1
Progression of Resistance Training Intensity among Older COPD Patients:
A Comparison of 2 Resistance Training Studies
Jeffrey L. Alexander, PhD And Melissa J. Benton, PhD, RN, CNS
Abstract: Objective: This comparison study examined strength and functional fitness (FF) outcomes between 2 single-set resistance training (SSRT) studies of differing intensity progressions (rapid progression [RP] versus delayed progression [DP]) among elderly pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) patients to determine if there is a threshold effect for training intensity. Methods: Twenty PR patients participating in identical hospital-based PR programs, which met twice a week for 8 weeks, were randomly assigned to SSRT programs, which differed in intensity progression (RP: n = 10, mean age = 71.0 ± 3.7 years; DP: n = 10, mean age = 65.4 ± 7.8 years). The SSRT consisted of 1 set of 8 to 15 repetitions of 5 exercises. For both studies, training loads were determined equally. Load increases in the RP study consisted of 5% to 10% immediately following a session where 10 repetitions were completed. Load increases for the DP study consisted of 3 to 5 lbs following 2 consecutive sessions wherein 12 repetitions were completed. Results of the primary outcomes data from both SSRT studies were compared to determine the presence of a threshold effect for intensity progression. The outcomes evaluated in both studies were upper and lower body strength and various FF measures. Repeated measures controlling for age, pulmonary function, and body mass index (BMI) were used to assess the presence of significant differences. To determine statistical significance, alpha was set at P < 0.05. Results: Rapid progression resulted in greater increases in upper body strength (chest press; P = 0.021) and FF (arm curl test, P = 0.001; lift and reach test, P = 0.003) than DP. Conclusions: Rapid progression of training intensity in a SSRT involving elderly PR patients appears superior to delayed progression.

Keywords: strength training; weight lifting; older adults; exercise intensity; pulmonary rehabilitation; COPD

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