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Effects of six weeks of detraining on retention of functional fitness of old people after nine weeks of multicomponent training


Objectives: To examine the effects of age on functional fitness after six weeks of detraining.

Methods: Elderly subjects, aged 60–86 years, completed a nine week multicomponent exercise training programme. They performed the senior fitness test every two weeks during the six week detraining period, and the responses of 12 young-old subjects (YO, aged 60–73 years) and nine older subjects (O, aged 74–86 years) were compared.

Results: Functional fitness improved during the exercise training period. Performances in the chair stand and six minute walk for the O group had significantly declined compared with post-training values after two weeks of detraining (p<0.01), whereas there were no significant changes in the YO group. Scores on the functional fitness tests declined further between two and four weeks of detraining in both of the groups (p<0.01). In the YO group, there were significant losses in performance on the chair stand, chair sit and reach, and six minute walk tests, and in the O group on the chair stand and up and go tests after six weeks of detraining compared with after four weeks of detraining (p<0.01). The components of functional fitness most affected by detraining were lower extremity flexibility after two and four weeks of detraining, and agility/dynamic balance after six weeks of detraining.

Conclusion: Changes in lower extremity flexibility, up and go, and six minute walk performances in response to six weeks of detraining are affected by age in elderly adults.

  • training
  • elderly people
  • aging
  • detraining
  • functional fitness

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