Effects of maximal‑versus submaximal‑intent resistance training on functional capacity and strength in community‑dwelling older adults: a systematic review and meta‑analysis

Liam Pearson*, David Behm, Stuart Goodall, Rachel Mason, Sam Stuart, Gill Barry

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The objective of this systematic review is to investigate the effects of different methods of resistance training (RT) on functional capacity in older adults. A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, CINAHL, Cochrane CENTRAL, ClinicalTrials.gov databases, from inception to December 2021. Eligibility criteria consisted of randomised control trials (RCT’s) involving maximal-intent resistance training (MIRT), where participants (aged 60+) had specific instruction to move ‘as fast as possible’ during the concentric phase of the exercise. Twelve studies were included within the meta-analysis. Divided into functional capacity and strength-related outcomes; Improvements were evident for timed-up-and-go (p = 0.001, SMD: − 1.74 [95% CI − 2.79, − 0.69]) and knee extension one-repetition maximum (1RM) (p = 0.01, SMD: − 1.21, [95% CI − 2.17, − 0.25]), both in favour of MIRT, as well as in 30 s sit-to-stand in favour of T-STR (p = 0.04, SMD: 3.10 [95% CI 0.07, 6.14]). No statistical significance was found for combined functional capacity outcomes (p = 0.17, SMD: − 0.84, [95% CI − 2.04, 0.37]), with near-significance observed in strength-related outcomes (p = 0.06. SMD: − 0.57, [95% CI − 1.16, 0.02]) favouring MIRT. Heterogeneity for FC-outcomes was observed as Tau2 = 4.83; Chi = 276.19, df = 14, I2 = 95%, and for strength-outcomes Tau2 = 1.290; Chi = 109.65, df = 115, I2 = 86%. Additionally, MIRT elicited substantial clinically meaningful improvements (CMI) in Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) scores but fell short of CMI in 400 m walk test by 0.6 s. In conclusion, this systematic review highlights the lack of sufficient and quality evidence for maximal- versus submaximal-intent resistance training on functional capacity and strength in community-dwelling older adults. Study limitations revolved around lack of research, low quality (“low” PEDro score), and largely due to the fact many comparison studies did not match their loads lifted (1500 kg vs. 500 kg), making comparisons not possible.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume14
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jul 2022

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