A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Evidence of resistance training-induced neural adaptation in older adults (2021)

Walker, S. (2021). Evidence of resistance training-induced neural adaptation in older adults. Experimental Gerontology, 151, Article 111408. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2021.111408

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Walker, Simon

Journal or series: Experimental Gerontology

ISSN: 0531-5565

eISSN: 1873-6815

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 151

Article number: 111408

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2021.111408

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/75881

Additional information: Special Issue on Neuromuscular Adaptations to Exercise and Aging; Edited by Dr. Matt Stock and Dr. Michael Deschenes.


The deleterious effects of aging on force production are observable from the age of 40 upwards, depending on the measure. Neural mechanisms contributing to maximum force production and rate of force development have been suggested as descending drive from supraspinal centers, spinal motoneuron excitability, and corticospinal inhibition of descending drive; all of which influence motor unit recruitment and/or firing rate. Resistance-trained Master athletes offer a good source of information regarding the inevitable effects of aging despite the countermeasure of systematic resistance-training. However, most evidence of neural adaptation is derived from longitudinal intervention studies in previously untrained (i.e. resistance-training naïve) older adults. There is good evidence for the effect of resistance-training on the end-point of neural activation, i.e. motor unit behavior, but little to no data on the generation of descending drive from e.g. transcranial magnetic stimulation or cortical imaging studies in older adults. This, along with tracking master athletes over several years, would provide valuable information and could be the focus of future research.

Keywords: ageing; muscle strength; force production (physiology); neuromuscular activity; exercise (people); strength training; intervention study

Free keywords: aging; strength; neuromuscular; exercise; intervention; motor unit; motoneuron

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-09-08 at 13:44