High-velocity, low-load and low-velocity, high load resistance exercise and their Influence on physiological outcomes, affective responses and functional performance in older adults

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Exacerbated by physical inactivity, advancing age is characterised by sarcopenia, dynapenia, and a subsequent decline in functional performance. However, resistance exercise has demonstrated beneficial effects on these conditions in older adults. Subsequently, the aim of this thesis was to monitor physiological changes, affective responses, enjoyment and changes in maximal strength and functional performance when performing high-velocity, low-load (HVLL) and low-velocity, high-load (LVHL) resistance exercise.

    Study one validated the use of a command and metronome-based protocol, demonstrating that it could be used to produce either high or low movement velocities when performing resistance exercise. Study two examined the acute physiological responses to volume-load matched HVLL and LVHL. Results revealed no significant differences in blood lactate, heart rate, systolic blood pressure or diastolic blood pressure, suggesting HVLL and LVHL produce comparable physiological strain.

    Study three examined the acute affective responses and enjoyment of volume-load matched HVLL and LVHL. Rating of perceived exertion and fatigue were greater during LVHL compared to HVLL. Despite this, enjoyment was similarly high for HVLL and LVHL, meaning it is probable that both would have a positive effect on continued exercise behaviour. The fourth study extended this work over 10-weeks, and also examined affective responses between exercising once or twice-weekly. The findings were largely in agreement with study three, and affective responses were similar between exercise frequencies.

    Study five examined how frequency (once vs. twice-weekly) and mode (HVLL vs. LVHL) of resistance exercise influenced functional performance, maximal strength and body composition. Only LVHL twice-weekly significantly improved functional performance compared to the control group. However, within-condition analysis revealed that HVLL and LVHL performed once and/or twice-weekly, significantly improved aspects of maximal strength and functional performance in older adults.

    From the observations of these studies and the wider literature, it was concluded that whether utilising HVLL or LVHL, exercise professionals should ensure older adults experience sufficient intensity of effort whilst exercising. When the individual is ready, they should progress from minimal doses of resistance exercise to facilitate continued development of strength and functional performance, or at the very least, ensure current levels are maintained. Affective responses appeared to be analogous between HVLL and LVHL, however the role that social interaction, habitual physical activity levels and supervision played in producing these results, warrants further investigation.
    Date of Award2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorNeil Clarke (Supervisor) & Michael Duncan (Supervisor)

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