The world population is ageing and the number of older adults with chronic health conditions and physical limitations is expected to increase. This, in turn, could lead to an increased burden on healthcare services [1]. Regular physical activity is an important component of successful ageing and reduces the risk of developing several age- and lifestyle related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, dementia and type 2 diabetes [2–7]. However, making older adults exercise and keeping them in exercise programs is a major challenge [8]. Understanding how older adults prefer to exercise may help developing tailored exercise programs and increase sustained exercise participation in ageing populations.
Too much exercise can be harmful. Without proper rest, the chance of stroke or other circulation problems increases,[80] and muscle tissue may develop slowly. Extremely intense, long-term cardiovascular exercise, as can be seen in athletes who train for multiple marathons, has been associated with scarring of the heart and heart rhythm abnormalities.[81][82][83] Specifically, high cardiac output has been shown to cause enlargement of the left and right ventricle volumes, increased ventricle wall thickness, and greater cardiac mass. These changes further result in myocardial cell damage in the lining of the heart, leading to scar tissue and thickened walls. During these processes, the protein troponin increases in the bloodstream, indicating cardiac muscle cell death and increased stress on the heart itself.[84]
In the third week of the program we step it up to a three-day training split: Train all “pushing” bodyparts (chest, shoulders, triceps) on Day 1; hit the “pulling” bodyparts (back, biceps) and abs on Day 2; and work your lower body (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves) on Day 3. As in Week 2, you train each bodypart twice a week, so you’ll hit the gym six days this week.
However, our goal is not necessarily to move more weight but to safely and efficiently target your muscles. By dramatically slowing the speed of the movements and ensuring that the weight smoothly changes directions, we virtually eliminate the possibility of injury. Excessive momentum is removed so only the muscles (and not the joints, tendons, or ligaments) are taxed.
In the present study, we measured muscle endurance by completion of time to exhaustion tests where the subject has to maintain a fix workload for as long as possible. All time to exhaustion tests lasted less than ten minutes, confirming that OLDE was performed at high intensity. The duration of the time to exhaustion tests in the present study is in accordance with previous studies using the same exercise on a different ergometer [11, 17, 18]. Relative reliability refers to the degree to which individuals maintain their position in a sample with repeated measurements [30]. The ICC value of 0.795 can be interpreted as a questionable reliability (ICC < 0.8), close to the threshold for good reliability (0.8 < ICC < 0.9) [19]. However, as no consensus really exists on threshold to interpret ICC results [31], the practical significance of its value has to be determined with caution by the readers according to their future use of the present protocol. Absolute reliability refers to the degree to which repeated measurements vary for individuals [30]. Traditionally, time to exhaustion tests are known to present a greater CV (CV > 10%) than time trials (i.e. subjects has to perform the greater amount of work possible in a fixed time/distance; CV < 5%) [20]. Interestingly, in our study the CV is below 10%, confirming the great reliability of our novel high intensity OLDE protocol to measure muscle endurance, this despite the small sample size, chosen to be in accordance with previously published studies using the same protocol [8, 11, 17]. This great reliability is confirmed by the typical error of measurement value of 0.30 min, corresponding to 5% of the averaged performance value. Finally, as the typical error of measurement value was slightly above the smallest worthwhile change calculated (0.28 min), it is unlikely that our novel high intensity OLDE protocol can be used to detect small differences in performance.
Thus, little is known about the effects of monitored vigorous exercise in elderly people. While significant benefits for basic motor tasks (such as balance and gait) can be achieved through different kinds of physical activity (i.e., stretching exercises, treadmill, Pilates, and strength and balance training), no conclusive relationship has been proven between its intensity and such improvements. Recently, Pau et al. [14] reported that spatiotemporal gait parameters and sit-to-stand performance significantly improve through vigorous (but not light) exercises, thus suggesting that higher levels of intensity might be more suitable in generally improving static and dynamic daily motor tasks.