Loss of Fat Tissue and Functional Responses to Exercise in Older, Obese Adults (I’M FIT)

Improving Muscle for Functional Independence (IM FIT)

The proposed study is designed to determine the effects of caloric restriction on improvements in skeletal muscle function in response to RT. If our hypotheses are confirmed, this study will provide the first definitive evidence that caloric restriction resulting in loss of adipose tissue augments skeletal muscle adaptations to exercise. By demonstrating that improvements in muscle quality and power, and physical function with RT are augmented by caloric restriction, these findings could also advance our understanding of how adipose tissue may predispose individuals to aging-related disability. The primary purpose of this study is to determine the effects of caloric restriction on the magnitude of improvement in clinical measures of skeletal muscle function and overall physical function in response to a standardized RT intervention.

Primary hypothesis:  Compared to RT only, RT+CR will result in greater improvement in muscle function, assessed by knee extensor force per unit of muscle tissue (muscle quality) and leg press muscle power, and in overall physical function, assessed by Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score.

To test our hypothesis We will conduct a 5-month randomized trial in 130 older (65-79 yrs), overweight or obese (BMI=27-34.9 kg/m2), sedentary men and women.  Subjects will be randomized to a resistance training intervention alone (RT) or to an RT with caloric restriction (RT+CR) intervention designed to elicit loss of body fat (8-10% weight loss).  The study interventions will take place at the Clinical Research Center of Wake Forest University.  Study assessment visits will be conducted at the Geriatric Research Center (GRC) and the Geriatric Clinical Research Unit (G-CRU) in the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging of Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

Last Updated: 02-05-2015
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