Optimal retraining time for regaining functional fitness using multicomponent training after long-term detraining in older adults

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2017 Nov;73:227-233. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2017.07.028. Epub 2017 Aug 2.


Objectives: Little is known about the optimal retraining time for regaining functional fitness through multicomponent training following long-term detraining in older adults. This study first investigated the time course of functional fitness changes during 12-month multicomponent training, 12-month detraining, and 9-month retraining in 18 older adults (68.33±3.46) and then determined the optimal retraining time for regaining the post-training functional fitness level after a 12-month detraining period.

Methods: Functional fitness, including lower and upper limb strength, lower and upper limb flexibility, aerobic endurance, and dynamic balance, was assessed at baseline, 12 months post-training, 12 months post-detraining, and 3, 6, and 9 months post-retraining.

Results: There were significant increases in all of the functional fitness components except upper limb flexibility at post-training and no significant decreases at post-detraining. For lower and upper limb strength and lower limb flexibility, a 3-month period was required to regain the post-training condition. For aerobic endurance and dynamic balance, a retraining period ≥9months was necessary to regain the post-training functional fitness condition.

Conclusions: To regain the post-training condition of all functional fitness components, a retraining period ≥9months was required. This information might be useful for health professionals to encourage older adults not to interrupt retraining until they regain their post-training functional fitness condition.

Keywords: Detraining; Functional fitness; Multicomponent training; Older adults; Retraining.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Republic of Korea
  • Resistance Training*
  • Time Factors