Training Session and Detraining Duration Affect Lower Limb Muscle Strength Maintenance in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Aging Phys Act. 2022 Jun 1;30(3):552-566. doi: 10.1123/japa.2020-0493. Epub 2021 Sep 11.


Muscle strength after detraining is still higher than the level before training, which is an important issue for middle-aged and older adults. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of detraining duration (DD), resistance training duration (RTD), and intensity on the maintenance of resistance training (RT) benefits after detraining in middle-aged and older adults. A systematic search yielded 15 randomized control trails (n = 383) eligible for inclusion. The results showed that RTD ≥ 24 weeks and DD ≥ RTD, the RT benefits were still significantly maintained even with medium and low intensity (standardized mean difference = 1.16, 95% confidence interval, CI [0.38, 1.94], p = .004). When RTD < 24 weeks and DD ≤ RTD, only the high-intensity groups maintained the RT benefits (DD, 4-6 weeks: standardized mean difference = 0.71, 95% CI [0.34, 1.08], p = .0002; DD 8-16 weeks: standardized mean difference = 1.35, 95% CI [0.66, 2.04], p = .0001). However, when DD > RTD, the RT benefits were not maintained even with high intensity. In summary, when RTD was less than 24 weeks, RTD > DD was an important factor in maintaining muscle strength.

Keywords: interrupted training; muscle strength maintenance; resistance training; training intensity.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength* / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Resistance Training* / methods