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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Concurrent exercise on a gravity-independent device during simulated microgravity.

  • Author(s): Cotter, Joshua A;
  • Yu, Alvin;
  • Haddad, Fadia;
  • Kreitenberg, Arthur;
  • Baker, Michael J;
  • Tesch, Per A;
  • Baldwin, Kenneth M;
  • Caiozzo, Vincent J;
  • Adams, Gregory R
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The objective of this study is to examine the effect of a high-intensity concurrent training program using a single gravity-independent device on maintaining skeletal muscle function and aerobic capacity during short-term unilateral lower limb suspension (ULLS).

Nineteen subjects (10 males and 9 females; 21.0 ± 2.5 yr, 65.4 ± 12.2 kg) were separated into two groups: 1) 10-d ULLS only (n = 9) and 2) 10-d ULLS plus aerobic and resistance training (ULLS + EX, n = 10). Exercise was performed on a single gravity-independent Multi-Mode Exercise Device (M-MED) with alternating days of high-intensity interval aerobic training and maximal exertion resistance training.

Aerobic capacity increased by 7% in ULLS + EX (P < 0.05). Knee extensor and ankle plantar flexor three-repetition maximum increased in the ULLS + EX group (P < 0.05), but this change was only different from ULLS in the plantar flexors (P < 0.05). Peak torque levels decreased with ULLS but were increased for the knee extensors and attenuated for the ankle plantar flexors with ULLS + EX (P < 0.05). A shift toward type IIx myosin heavy-chain mRNA occurred with ULLS and was reversed with ULLS + EX in the vastus lateralis (P < 0.05) but not the soleus. Myostatin and atrogin increased with ULLS in both the vastus lateralis and soleus, but this change was mitigated with ULLS + EX only in the vastus lateralis (P = 0.0551 for myostatin, P < 0.05 for atrogin). Citrate synthase was decreased in the soleus during ULLS but was increased with ULLS + EX (P < 0.05).

These results indicate that an M-MED class countermeasure device appears to be effective at mitigating the deconditioning effects of microgravity simulated during a modified ULLS protocol.

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