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Aging is anecdotally associated with a prolonged recovery from resistance training, though current literature remains equivocal. This brief review considers the effects of resistance training on indirect markers of muscle damage and recovery (i.e., muscle soreness, blood markers, and muscle strength) in older males. With no date restrictions, four databases were searched for articles relating to aging, muscle damage, and recovery. Data from 11 studies were extracted for review. Of these, four reported worse symptoms in older compared with younger populations, while two have observed the opposite, and the remaining studies (n = 6) proposed no differences between age groups. It appears that resistance training can be practiced in older populations without concern for impaired recovery. To improve current knowledge, researchers are urged to utilize more ecologically valid muscle-damaging bouts and investigate the mechanisms which underpin the recovery of muscle soreness and strength after exercise in older populations.
Fernandes and Drury are with the Higher Education Sport, Hartpury University, Hartpury, United Kingdom. Lamb and Twist are with the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom. Norris is with the Derbyshire County Cricket Club, Derby, United Kingdom. Moran is with the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom. Borges is with the School of Environmental and Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia.