Novel individualized power training protocol preserves physical function in adult and older mice

Ted G. Graber, Katie R. Fandrey, La Dora V. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, contributes to frailty, functional decline, and reduced quality of life in older adults. Exercise is a recognized therapy for sarcopenia and muscle dysfunction, though not a cure. Muscle power declines at an increased rate compared to force, and force output declines earlier than mass. Thus, there is a need for research of exercise focusing on improving power output and functionality in older adults. Our primary purpose was proof-of-concept that a novel individualized power exercise modality would induce positive adaptations in adult mice, before the exercise program was applied to an aged cohort. We hypothesized that after following our protocol, both adult and older mice would show improved function, though there would be evidence of anabolic resistance in the older mice. Male C57BL/6 mice (12 months of age at study conclusion) were randomized into control (n = 9) and exercise (n = 6) groups. The trained group used progressive resistance (with a weighted harness) and intensity (~ 4–10 rpm) on a custom motorized running wheel. The mice trained similarly to a human workout regimen (4–5 sets/session, 3 sessions/week, for 12 weeks). We determined significant (p < 0.05) positive adaptations post-intervention, including: neuromuscular function (rotarod), strength/endurance (inverted cling grip test), training physiology (force/power output per session), muscle size (soleus mass), and power/velocity of contraction (in vitro physiology). Secondly, we trained a cohort of older male mice (28 months old at conclusion): control (n = 12) and exercised (n = 8). While the older exercised mice did preserve function and gain benefits, they also demonstrated evidence of anabolic resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-183
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Exercise
  • Mice
  • Muscle
  • Power
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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