The age-related loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) has shown to be a causative factor for functional decline in elders. Progressive resistance training is a proven and effective intervention to increase muscle mass and power in this population. However, as much of the conventional wisdom regarding resistance training is based upon data from younger individuals, there remains significant debate within the literature about the underlying science and optimization of this intervention in the elderly.
The loss of muscle mass and power has been strongly linked with satellite cellular senescence, along with an increased expression of type one 1 muscle fibres (slow twitch) and decreased expression of type 2 muscle fibres (fast twitch). Ultimately, this age-related decrease in type 2 muscle fibres is genetically mediated through myosin heavy chain transcription (MyHC). While the concept of high speed repetition resistance training has shown to be effective in increasing muscle power, optimal parameters of resistance training for altering MyHC, specifically repetition timing, have not yet been described.