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Gina Bravo, Pierre Gauthier, Pierre-Michel Roy, Daniel Tessier, Philippe Gaulin, Marie-France Dubois and Lucie Péloquin

A battery of field tests was recently developed to assess five fitness parameters in elderly persons. The present study examined the test-retest reliability of each item in the battery and tested the validity of the cardiorespiratory endurance item. Reliability and validity data were obtained from two convenience samples. The 29 subjects in the reliability study were community-living women enrolled in seniors’ exercise classes. The validity of the cardiorespiratory endurance item was tested by comparing it with maximal work capacity on a treadmill test. The 52 women in that part of the study were all participants in a study to assess the effect of weight-bearing exercises on women with low bone mass. Both samples were combined for a principal component analysis. Low reproducibility was observed for coordination (0.54) and strength/endurance (0.56). After slightly modifying the test protocol for these two items, reproducibility reached 84 and 94%, respectively. The correlation between the cardiorespiratory endurance score and maximal work capacity was −0.65, while that between the composite score and maximal work capacity was −0.64. Given these minor modifications, then, the Functional Fitness Assessment battery is a reliable and valid tool for assessing functional fitness in elderly women.

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Inès Boukabous, Alexis Marcotte-Chénard, Taha Amamou, Pierre Boulay, Martin Brochu, Daniel Tessier, Isabelle Dionne and Eléonor Riesco

Objectives: To compare the effect of low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on fat mass, cardiometabolic profile, and physical capacity, and confirm its feasibility in older women. Methods: Inactive older women (60–75 years) were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of either HIIT (75 min/week; n = 9) or MICT (150 min/week; n = 9). Body composition, fasting metabolic profile, cardiovascular risk (Framingham score), and physical capacity (senior fitness test, peak oxygen uptake) were assessed before and after the intervention. Feasibility was evaluated with completion rate (training compliance; dropout rate) and affective response (Feeling Scale; pre- and postexercise). Results: Total cholesterol level, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, and the Framingham risk score decreased in both groups (ps ≤ .03). Although peak oxygen uptake remained unchanged, the 6-min walk test distance increased (p < .0001), irrespective of the group. Completion rate and affective responses were not different between groups (ps ≥ .38). Conclusion: A short-term HIIT program is feasible and provides as much benefits as MICT in older women.