To investigate the short- and long-term effects of concurrent strength and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on octogenarian COPD patients, nine males (age = 84.2 ± 2.8 years, BMI = 29.3 ± 2.3) with low to severe COPD levels (2.1 ± 1.5 BODE index) underwent a supervised 9-week strength and HIIT exercise program. Training had a significant (p < .05) impact on senior fitness test scores (23-45%), 30-m walking speed (from 1.29 ± 0.29-1.62 ± 0.33 m/s), leg and chest press 1RM (38% and 45% respectively), maximal isometric strength (30-35%), and 6-min walking test (from 286.1 ± 107.2-396.2 ± 106.5 m), and tended to increase predicted forced vital capacity by 14% (p = .07). One year after the intervention all training-induced gains returned to their preintervention values except for the chest press 1RM (p <.05). Short-term concurrent strength and HIIT training increases physical fitness in the oldest-old COPD patients, and has potential long-term benefits.
Keywords: disease severity class; interval training; oldest old adults; physical fitness; pulmonary disease.