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  • Author: Pablo B. Costa x
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Pablo B. Costa, Eric D. Ryan, Trent J. Herda, Ashley A. Walter, Katherine M. Hoge and Joel T. Cramer

This study examined the acute effects of passive stretching on electromechanical delay (EMD), peak twitch force (PTF), rate of force development (RFD), and peak-to-peak M-wave (PPM) for the soleus muscle during evoked isometric plantar flexion muscle actions. Fourteen men (mean age ± SD = 21.2 ± 2.4 years; body mass = 80.0 ± 14.9 kg; height = 176.9 ± 7.2 cm) and 20 women (20.9 ± 2.5 years; 61.3 ± 8.9 kg; 165.3 ± 7.5 cm) volunteered for the study. Five single-square, supramaximal transcutaneous electrical stimuli (each separated by 5 s) were delivered to the tibial nerve before and after passive stretching. A time × gender interaction was observed for EMD, and the post hoc dependent-samples t tests indicated that EMD increased 4% for the women (p = .023), but not for the men (p = .191). There were no other stretching-related changes for PTF, RFD, or p-p M-wave for either the men or women (p > .05). These findings tentatively suggested that mechanical factors related to the stiffness of the muscle-tendon unit may contribute to the explanation for why stretching caused an acute increase in the EMD during evoked twitches in the women, but not in the men.

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Ashley A. Herda, Brianna D. McKay, Trent J. Herda, Pablo B. Costa, Jeffrey R. Stout and Joel T. Cramer

The purpose of this trial was to examine the effects of self-selected exercise intensities plus either whey protein or placebo supplementation on vital signs, body composition, bone mineral density, muscle strength, and mobility in older adults. A total of 101 participants aged 55 years and older (males [n = 34] and females [n = 67]) were evaluated before and after 12 weeks of self-selected, free-weight resistance exercise plus 30 min of self-paced walking three times per week. The participants were randomized into two groups: whey protein (n = 46) or placebo (n = 55). Three-way mixed factorial analyses of variance were used to test for mean differences for each variable. The 12 weeks of self-selected, self-paced exercise intensities improved resting heart rate, fat-free mass, percent body fat, handgrip strength, bench press strength, leg press strength, and all mobility measurements (p < .05) in males and females despite supplementation status. This suggests that additional protein in well-fed healthy older adults does not enhance the benefit of exercise.