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Thursday
Dec052013

Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle

Teet Seene presented on "Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle: Strength Development Through the Lifespan".  Here Teet talked about how skeletal muscular development begins when the baby is born. It was highlighted that at the time of birth, a babies muscular contraction velocity is the same throughout all their muscles. 

However, from this point on, that's where the differentiation between the different fibres starts: Slow twitch and fast twitch. The most intensive developmental phase for skeletal muscular growth is in this first  28 days of life.

Teet has found that this is due to the high levels of anabolic hormones present in the neonatal period. Teet states that protein synthesis rate is higher than protein degradation. Factors like insulin, growth hormone and glucagon play a role here.     

This is due to the high levels of anabolic hormones, which muscle is sensitive to. Seene then went on to explain the structure of muscle fibres, their oxidative capacity and molecular structure. He did however state that the "Human organism is ready for strength development from late puberty".

These sparked questions, which were duely addressed in the slides on the following:

- When should coaches encourage strength development? 

- Does the potential for strength development change?

Teet highlighted that, although adults in their forties can win World or Olympic medals, they experience reduced muscle strength, mass and VO2 from the age of 30. However this can be be maintained if effective strength training is encouraged.

For more on the topic, see Teet Seene's presentation on: Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle: Strength Development Through the Lifespan.

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