Concurrent Training (CT) is described as a combination of resistance training (RT) and endurance training (ET) in a periodized program to maximize all aspects of physical performance. To date, effects of CT order on muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness adaptations are controversial. Owing to the age-related decrement in satellite cells (SC) which are critical for fiber repair, conservation, muscle hypertrophy as well as cardiorespiratory fitness, the present study examined the response of SC related markers to CT order in older sarcopenic men.
Thirty older men (age= 64.3 ± 3.5 years) were randomly assigned into one of 3 groups, ET followed by RT (E+R; n=10), RT followed by ET (R+E; n= 10) or a control (C; n=10).
The training protocol consisted of 3 exercise sessions per week for 8 weeks. Blood samples were obtained at baseline and 48 hours after the final training session.
Weight, skeletal muscle mass, lower and upper body power, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), Paired Box 7 (Pax7), and Myogenic factor 5 (Myf5) significantly increased, while were percent body fat significantly decreased following E+R and R+E compared to C. Importantly, the improvement in skeletal muscle mass, lower and upper body power, Myf5 and Pax7 in the E+R was significantly greater than the R+E group. Myogenin (Myog) and Paired Box 3 (Pax3) significantly increased (P < 0.01) in both training groups compared to no changes in C.
An 8-week CT intervention improves SC related markers, body composition and enhances power and VO2max in older sarcopenic participants, regardless of the order of RT and ET. However, performing ET before RT may be more effective at enhancing skeletal muscle mass, Myf5 and Pax7, in addition to both lower and upper body power. While both CT programs produced notable physiological and performance benefits, performing ET before RT during CT may provide the greatest therapeutic benefits for aging individuals.