Elderly patients and high force resistance exercise - A descriptive report: Can an anabolic, muscle growth response occur without muscle damage or inflammation?

Paul LaStayo, Paul McDonagh, Dani Lipovic, Phyllis Napoles, Amelia Bartholomew, Karyn Esser, Stan L Lindstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Elderly individuals participate in resistance exercise to induce an anabolic response and grow muscle to help overcome functional deficits. It is thought that a muscle damage and inflammatory response to resistance exercise is a necessary prerequisite for an anabolic and muscle growth response. Methods: This is a descriptive study of 11 elderly individuals in rehabilitation who underwent a 2-3x/week high force resistance exercise that used eccentric contractions. Serum measures of muscle damage, inflammation, and an anabolic response are reported along with changes in muscle mass as measured with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results: Negative work increased >3-fold during the 11 weeks of resistance exercise. There were no significant changes in the damage measure of serum creatine kinase (pretraining: 18.5 ± 1.2 Sigma units/ml; post-training: 19.2 ± 1.1 Sigma units/ml). Proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor-α values remained within normal range (<4.0 pg/ml) throughout the 11 weeks of training. A nonsignificant trend for an anabolic increase (65%) in insulin like growth factor-1 was noted along with a significant increase (6%) in thigh muscle mass. Conclusions: Neither damage, nor inflammation appear to be prerequisites for inducing anabolic and muscle growth responses in elderly individuals undergoing a high force resistance exercise with eccentric contractions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geriatric Physical Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007



  • Damage
  • Growth
  • Inflammation
  • Mediators
  • Muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Rehabilitation

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