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Research & Investigations in Sports Medicine

Lessons from Masters World Records: Lack of Gender Differences In Aging Muscle Decay Rates

  • Open or CloseGuidolin D1, Gava P2, Ravara B2,3, Kern H4, Amber Pond L5 and Albertin G1,6*

    1 Department of Neuroscience, University of Padova, Italy

    2 A&C M-C Foundation for Translational Myology, Italy

    3 Department of Biomedical Science, University of Padova, Italy

    4 Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rehabilitation Research, Austria

    5 Department of Anatomy, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, USA

    6 Human Movement Sciences, University of Padova, Italy

    *Corresponding author: Kolenc M, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Submission: December 18, 2019;Published: January 09, 2020

DOI: 10.31031/RISM.2020.06.000626

ISSN: 2577-1914
Volume6 Issue1


The physiology and physiopathology of muscle aging differ between female sand males. Here, our aim is to investigate gender differences in the rate of the age-related decay of skeletal muscle performance using a complete series of female and male normalized master’s world records. Masters athletes compete in age groups of five-year divisions and range from 35 to 100 years of age. The world records are lists of up to 16 data points that, after normalization, can be interpolated with polynomial trend-lines with a high R2. Gender comparisons were performed for 19 Track and Field specialties using weighted regression analyses. As expected, the aging decline began at 35 years for both the women and men. Despite differences in the 19 Track and Field Masters world records for female and male athletes in the same age groups, in comparing the normalized female and male Masters athlete world records, the rates of aging performance decay were very similar if not identical. This lack of gender difference is a unique exception to the general rule of gender differences in sports activities, suggesting that neuro-hormonal mechanisms poorly influence the rate of aging muscle power decay. We then discuss the hypothesis that age-induced decline is related to fundamental cellular mechanisms, perhaps those that control energy metabolism. The limitations and implications of our hypothesis are discussed as well.

Keywords: Masters world records; Aging muscle; Rate of performance decay; Gender differences

Abbrevaitions: CoM: Center of Mass; d.f: Degrees of Freedom; IAAF: International Association of Athletics Federation; VO2max: Maximal Oxygen Consumption

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