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(we will not use your email address for any other purpose other than one connected with this programme)

What's involved & do you qualify

Research

By partaking in the programme you will be helping to increase our knowledge of how exercise can benefit the population over 55.

As it is a research project there will be a strict timetable and some measurement involved.

To start there will be three 30 minute sessions of measurement over 2 weeks. Then so as to set a baseline you will undertake a period of 6 weeks in which you will do no weight training. Once this has been completed we will move on to your 8 week programme.

There will be two groups of 10 participants. The first group will start the last week of January while the second will commence near the end of March.

Strength

The programme itself is designed to help increase both strength (how much can you lift or move) and power (how fast you can lift or move it).

It will be individually prescribed to you, so while it might be hard, it will not be beyond your ability to perform.

The programme has been devised by an experienced and qualified physiotherapist.

It will involve weighted squats, lifting bar weights from the floor and some jumping.

Risks & benefits

As with all exercise there will be some risk of injury. This risk of injury will be mitigated by having the programme designed to fit your level of fitness and strength and also being monitored by a qualified physiotherapist.

The potential benefits are significant and include a reduction in risk of sarcopenia, improvement in athletic ability and improvement in daily function.

Follow the link for a more in-depth article about what is hoped to be achieved.

Do you qualify?

This project is open anyone who falls into the following categories

Any gender aged 55 or over. There is no upper limit, but you should have a minimum of a physical ability to be able to get on and off the floor unaided.

No current injury which would prevent exercise.

No impairment which would prevent 30 minutes of weight lifting exercise

No current medical condition which might be affected by exercise, for example unstable angina, unstable high or low blood pressure, unstable cardiac arrhythmia.

Have not taken part in weight training in the past 12 months. Being active and fit otherwise is fine, so activities such as pilates, yoga, running and swimming will not preclude you from taking part.

Do you have the time?

Possibly the biggest barrier to participation will be availability.

All of the training sessions will take place between 9am & 5pm on weekdays with only a few limited evening slots meaning you may find it challenging to commit to.

There is a long wait time of 6 weeks from initial measurement to actually taking part in the programme, which might make planning hard.

Each participant will be asked to train for a minimum of 30 minutes twice a week.

FAQ

The purpose of the study is to assess the impact of a twice weekly Heavy Weight Training programme on various measures of strength, balance and well-being.

No. If you change your mind after signing the consent form you have no obligations to take part and can withdraw at any point. You do not need to provide a reason for withdrawing and this will not affect the standard of care and input you receive.

You will be enrolled on the study which will take up to 17 weeks to complete, though a number of these weeks will require you to take no action.

The following measures will be taken:

Your Strength through the highest amount of weight you can perform a Back Squat 5 times with (called a 5RM Test).

Your Balance through The Y Excursion Test

Your Grip strength via a Grip Dynamometer

Your Knee strength using a Hand Dynamometer

A further measure of your squat ability, called isometric squat testing, which provides a more detailed analysis of the force produced by using a force plate to record your effort.

Your current physical health through a questionnaire called the Rand Short Form Health Questionnaire 36

The Initial control period:

Week 1-2

Session 1 – Teaching session on methods of weight lifting and measurement to be used.

Session 2 – Measurement of 5rm Squat, Grip Strength, Knee Extensor Strength, Y-Balance Test

Session 3 – Measurement of 5rm Squat, Grip Strength, Knee Extensor Strength, Y-Balance Test

Session 4 – Measurement of 5rm Squat, Grip Strength, Knee Extensor Strength, Y-Balance Test & SF36

Weeks 3 – 8

No intervention with an instruction to avoid resistance training in own time.

Week 9 – 10

Session 5 – Measurement of 5rm Squat, Grip Strength, Knee Extensor Strength, Y-Balance Test & SF36

Session 6 – Familiarisation with training programme and techniques

Session 7 – Familiarisation with training programme and techniques

Session 8 – Familiarisation with training programme and techniques

Weeks 11 – 16

Sessions 9 – 20 Twice weekly strength training programme as described in the previous section

Week 17

Session 21 – Final measurement of 5rm Squat, Grip Strength, Knee Extensor Strength, Y-Excursion Test & SF36

We will anonymise all data. The data we will record will be biometric data (age, weight, height etc), the results your performance on a number of tests and the results of a psychometric questionnaire (the Rand Short Form 36) which measure yours physical and mental well being.

We will anonymise all data. The data we will record will be biometric data (age, weight, height etc), the results your performance on a number of tests and the results of a psychometric questionnaire (the Rand Short Form 36) which measure yours physical and mental well being.

We take great care to protect the confidentiality of the information we are given, and we take careful steps to ensure that data are secure at all times.  The information collected is used for research purposes only and is dealt with according to the 1998 Data Protection Act and GDPR. The information that you provide will be stored anonymously on a computer/hard drive and any hard copies of documents will be stored in a locked filing cabinet by the research supervisor. None of the information held by the researcher will identify you by name. Information from this study may be made available to other researchers at the University of Salford and elsewhere for future research studies; however, no information in this anonymised dataset can been used to identify individuals.

No expenses or payments will be provided for taking part in this study.

Risks of participation include:

A risk of injury which be mitigated by having the sessions supervised by a Physiotherapist trained in Weight Training instruction.

The information collected from this study will increase the body of knowledge of strength and conditioning practices specifically relating to prescription of exercise for people approaching or past the age of retirement, potentially helping to maintain or improve quality of life. You yourself may also benefit from the programme through improvements in some of the areas in which measures are being taken.

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should ask to speak to the researcher by email (m.d.mcgillian@edu.salford.ac.uk) who will do their best to answer your questions.

Results may be published; names however will not be mentioned. If participants request for their own results, then these will be emailed to them.

Heaton Moor Physiotherapy is providing the equipment while the study is being organised through Salford University