Effects of Once- Versus Twice-Weekly Eccentric Resistance Training on Muscular Function and Structure in Older Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Brett A. Baxter*, Anthony Baross, Declan Ryan, Stepan Tkadlec, Tony Kay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Adherence rates to current twice-weekly strength training guidelines are poor among older adults. Eccentric-only training elicits substantial improvements in muscle function/size so the aim of this study was to compare the effects of once- versus twice-weekly eccentric training programmes on muscle function/size in older adults. Thirty-six participants (69.4±6.0 yr) were randomised into non-active control, once-, or twice-weekly training groups. Lower-limb muscle power, strength, and size were assessed at baseline, mid-, and post-eccentric training. Training was performed for 12 min per session at 50% of maximum eccentric strength. Significant increases in power (13%), isometric (17-36%) and eccentric (40-50%) strength, and VL muscle thickness (9-18%) occurred in both training groups following 12 weeks. Minimal muscle soreness was induced throughout the 12 weeks and perceived exertion was consistently lower in the twice-weekly training group. One weekly submaximal eccentric resistance training session over 12 weeks elicits similar improvements in neuromuscular function compared to the currently recommended twice-weekly training dose. Given the substantial improvements in neuromuscular function and previously reported low adherence to current twice-weekly training guidelines, eccentric training may be pivotal to developing a minimal-dose strategy to counteract neuromuscular decline. The trial was registered retrospectively on 24/01/2024 with ISRCTN (trial registration number: ISRCTN68730580).
Original languageEnglish
Article number9638
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • eccentric
  • older adult
  • strength
  • functional ability
  • muscle size
  • power


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