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Title: Combined exercise training in older adults : application of a hydraulic resistance machine for multicomponent fitness improvement
Author: Hurst, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 7429
Awarding Body: Teesside University
Current Institution: Teesside University
Date of Award: 2017
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Ageing is associated with declines in cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness; yet for older adults the ability to perform the basic tasks of daily living is partly dependent on upperand lower-body fitness. Exercise training is an effective approach to counteract these age associated declines, with combined exercise training and high-intensity interval training (HIT) capable of eliciting improvements in cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness simultaneously. Recently, a new hydraulic resistance exercise machine (Speedflex) has been developed with potential to be a viable training mode for older adults allowing users to perform high speed movements with upper- and lower-body muscles. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis was to evaluate the potential effectiveness of Speedflex as a training strategy in older adults. Initially, this work sought to determine the feasibility of performing exercise training using Speedflex in older adults by quantifying the acute training responses to 1) HIT and 2) strength training and comparing these against criterion exercise modes. Here, the observed physiological and perceptual responses demonstrated that Speedflex is a feasible mode of exercise training in older adults, capable of inducing a high-intensity training stimulus. Following this, a systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to quantify the effects of same-session combined exercise training in older adults with results demonstrating possibly small to possibly large beneficial effects on measures of fitness. As muscle power appears to be a critical determinant of physical functioning in older adults, chapter five evaluated the reliability of the Nottingham leg extensor power rig, finding it to be reliable both short- and long-term, thereby confirming its suitability as a primary outcome measure for the final study and providing data for sample size estimation. Finally, chapter six evaluated the effects of a 12-week combined upper- and lower-body HIT intervention using Speedflex on physical fitness in older adults. Clear beneficial improvements were observed for participants in the intervention group compared to those in the control group for maximal oxygen uptake (~8%), muscle power (~10%) and muscle strength (~6%). The findings presented in this thesis demonstrate that both same-session combined training and HIT performed using Speedflex are capable of simultaneously improving cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness in older adults.
Supervisor: Weston, Matthew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: exercise training ; ageing ; physical performance ; older adults ; functional fitness