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Table 1 Oxidative mitochondrial outcomes of RT,  ET and CT  interventions

From: Exercise rescues mitochondrial coupling in aged skeletal muscle: a comparison of different modalities in preventing sarcopenia

Authors Cohort Training type Intensity [ET]/repetition range [RT] Intervention duration/frequency Primary outcomes
Menshikova et al. [28] Sedentary older (67 ± 0.6 years) adults (5 men, 3 women) ET 30–40 min of HR 50–70% of VO2 max (progressive) 12 weeks
4-6x/week
↑ETC Activity
↑NADH Oxidase (CI)
↑mtDNA/mitochondrial biogenesis
↑Complex I-IV activity
Short et al. [14] Untrained men/women (21–87 years) ET 20 min at 70% of max HR (start)
40 min at 80% of max HR
16 weeks
3x/week (start)
4x/week (end)
↑Complex IV activity
↑Citrate synthase
↑COX4, ND4 (mito. Enzymes)
↑PGC-1α, TFAM, NRF-1
Broskey et al. [27] Sedentary men and women (60- 80 years) ET 75% of max HR for 30–60 min (progressive along course of intervention) 16 weeks
3x/week
↑ETC Complexes I, III, IV, V w/ greatest elevation of I
↑Mitochondrial volume (proportional to ↑ATPmax)
↑PGC-1α, TFAM, NRF-1
Conley et al. [72] Recreationally active older (69.5 ± 1.2 years) men and women ET 60%—> 80–85% of max HR for 20 min on two different exercises 24 weeks
3x/week
↑ATPmax (+ 31% oxidative capacity)
(Disproportionate to change in Mito vol.)
Jubrias et al. [73] Untrained older (69.2 ± 0.6 years) men and women RT (Leg press + arm training + shoulder lifts) 3 sets of 10–15 repetitions (lighter days)
3–5 sets of 4–8 repetitions (heavier days)
24 weeks
3x/week
↑57% skeletal muscle oxidative capacity
(Greater than that of corresponding ET group)
↑31% mitochondrial density
Mesquita et al. [91] Untrained aged (59 ± 4 years) men and women RT (Full Body) 3 sets of 10–12 repetitions with 1 min rest between sets 10 weeks
2x/week
↑OXPHOS Proteins:
↑180% CI, 39% CII, 89% CIII, 43% CIV, 78% CV
-Unchanged PGC-1α and TFAM
Porter et al. [89] Untrained young men RT (Full-body) 3–4 sets of 8–10 repetitions with 1–2 min rest between sets 12 weeks
3x/week
↑↑ETC Complex I activity
↑Coupled (P) and uncoupled mitochondrial respiration
↑COX4I1/NAMPT mRNA
Flack et al. [92] Untrained older (≥ 60 years) males RT (Full-body) 1 set of 8–12 repetitions 12 weeks
3x/week
No change in oxidative capacity or ROS production
Parise et al. [2] Untrained older men/women (68.5 ± 5.1 years) RT (Full-body) 3 sets of 10–12 repetitions with 2 min rest between sets 14 weeks
3x/week
↑ETC Complex IV activity
↓Oxidative stress
↓17.5% 8-OHdG
Berg et al. [93] Older sedentary adults  (7 men, 3 women, age 75 ± 9 years) RT (Single muscle group MST) 4 sets of 4–5 repetitions with 2 min rest between sets 8 weeks
3x/week
↓Complex I Activity
↓Maximal ADP-dependent respiration
Irving et al. [99] Older (≥ 61 years) and young (18–30 years) sedentary men and women RT 4 sets of 8–10 repetitions 8 weeks
4 days/week
-No significant change in oxidative capacity
↑PGC1α1.SIRT3,
ET 65% VO2 max for 1 h 8 weeks
5 days/week
OXPHOS ETC protein abundance
↑Oxidative Capacity
↑Complex I/Complex II
↑PGC1α1, SIRT3
CT (ET + RT) 65% VO2 max for 30 min, 5 days/week
 + 
2/3 of RT group’s resistance volume,
4 days/week
8 weeks ↑↑OXPHOS ETC protein abundance
↑↑Oxidative capacity
↑TFAM (mitochondrial biogenesis)
MacNeil et al. [100] Sedentary (for 6 months) young adults CT (RT- > ET or ET- > RT) 65% VO2 max for 22.5 min, immediately followed by 3 sets of 10 repetitions with 1 min. rest, and vice versa 6 weeks
3x/week
↑↑ETC complex proteins I–V
↑↑Mitochondrial biogenesis (PGC-1α, PRC)
Sequence of RT > ET is superior than ET > RT at upregulating complex II