Anoop Balachandran writes:
This is one of the abstracts of the paper i am about to publish: My question is can I really say both training program were effective for increasing power and function? Studies of similar duration employing sedentary control showed either negative or 1-2% changes. Also, I don’t think strength and function will improve in older adults due to placebo effect or natural history. What is your opinion?
I know within-group changes may not mean much. But usually power and function declines or stays same in older adults. Also, between group CI shows atleast a small effect in favor for both groups. I know I didn’t have a control since studies using it showed negative changes/1-2% changes. i just want to make sure I am not exaggerating my case so any feedback would be helpful.
Objectives: Power training has shown to be more effective than conventional resistance training for improving physical function in older adults; however, most trials used pneumatic machines for power training. Considering that the general public only have access to plate-loaded machines, the effectiveness and safety of power training using plate-loaded machines compared to pneumatic machines remains uncertain. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the effects of high-velocity training using pneumatic machines (Pn) versus standard plate-loaded machines (PL).
Design: Single-blind, randomized controlled trial
Participants: Independently-living older adults, 60 years or older.
Intervention: Participants were randomized into two groups: pneumatic machine (Pn, n=19) and plate-loaded machine (PL, n=17). After 12 weeks of high-velocity training twice per week, groups were analyzed using an intention-to-treat approach.
Measurements: Primary outcomes were lower body power measured using a linear transducer and upper body power using medicine ball throw. Secondary outcomes included lower and upper body strength, the Physical Performance Battery (PPB), gallon jug test and get up and go test, and self-reported function using the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and an online video questionnaire. Outcome assessors were blinded to group membership.
Results: Lower body power significantly improved in both groups (Pn: 19%, PL: 31%), with no significant difference between the groups (Cohen’s d = 0.4, 95% CI (−1.1, 0.3). Upper body power significantly improved only in the PL group, but showed no significant difference between the groups (Pn: 3%, PL: 6%). For balance, there was a significant difference between the groups favoring the Pn group (d=0.7, 95% CI (0.1, 1.4); however, there were no statistically significant differences between groups for PPB, gallon jug transfer, strength, get up and go or self-reported function. No serious adverse events were reported in either of the groups.
Conclusions: Pneumatic machines were not superior to plate-loaded machines in improving power in older adults. Pneumatic and plate-loaded machines were both effective in improving lower body power and physical function in older adults. The results suggest that power training can be safely and effectively performed using either pneumatic machines or plate-loaded machines among older adults.
I don’t do any power training myself but I thought this could be interesting to share, not so much because of the subject matter, but because it represents the sort of everyday research that goes on all the time, but which we don’t think so much about.
If you have any suggestions for Anoop, just put them in the comments.