Resistance Training and Testosterone after Spinal Cord Injury
Individuals with spinal cord injuries face a lifelong risk of obesity and several chronic metabolic disorders including glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia secondary to deterioration in body composition. Even only a few weeks after an injury, there are significant decreases in body fat-free mass and a subsequent increase in fat mass. Resistance training is an important exercise that can induce positive physiological changes such as increasing lean mass and reducing metabolic disorders in other clinical populations. The goal of the current study was to investigate the efficacy of evoked resistance training and testosterone replacement therapy on the changes in body composition and the metabolic profile after a spinal cord injury. It was proposed that this method could become a more viable intervention for individuals with limited access and poor tolerance to exercise.
Findings from the study concluded that the addition of resistance training to testosterone replacement therapy maximizes improvements to muscle quality after a complete spinal cord injury, as compared to the testosterone replacement therapy alone. Adding resistance training increased muscle size and strength, while also improving muscle contractile properties.