Lower limb muscular strength and power characteristics of Masters road cyclists and age-matched sedentary adults

Luke Del Vecchio*, Robert Stanton, Nattai Borges, Campbell Macgregor, Thomas Doering, Marko T. Korhonen, Peter Reaburn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Endurance exercise is known to promote healthy aging of cardiovascular system, but the effects on muscle characteristics are still unclear. Some evidence suggests that endurance running provides insufficient stimulus to prevent age-related losses in muscle mass and muscular strength. However, few studies have evaluated the muscular adaptations to high-volume road cycling. The purpose of the present study was to compare thigh muscle volume, muscular strength, and muscular power of Masters cyclists and sedentary controls. METHODS: Ten competitive road cyclists (57.8±6.1 years) and 10 age- and body mass-matched sedentary males (54.3±3.7 years) were studied. Thigh muscle volume was determined from thigh circumference, age and body mass using a validated equation. Maximal isometric leg strength was measured with a leg and back dynamometer. Relative dynamic force and leg power was measured using a countermovement jump. RESULTS: No significant differences (P>0.05) were observed between sedentary older males and Masters road cyclists for body mass (83.1±9.5 vs. 84.0±6.7 kg), BMI (27.6±2.7 vs. 27.0±2.1 kg/m2), absolute isometric strength (143.2±20.9 vs. 132.9±21.2 kg), relative dynamic power (28.6±6.6 vs. 32.5±8.7 W/kg) or thigh muscle volume (8007±651 vs. 8052±505 cm3) groups. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest competitive endurance cycling training does not enhance muscular strength and power compared to age-matched sedentary older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalGazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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