European Respiratory Journal vol:19 issue:6 pages:1072-8
The effects of endurance training on exercise capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients have been studied thoroughly, while resistance training has been rarely evaluated. This study investigated the effects of resistance training in comparison with endurance training in patients with moderate to severe COPD and peripheral muscle weakness (isometric knee extension peak torque <75% predicted). Forty-eight patients (age 64+/-8 yrs, forced expiratory volume in one second 38+/-17% pred) were randomly assigned to resistance training (RT, n=24) or endurance training (ET, n=24). The former consisted of dynamic strengthening exercises. The latter consisted of walking, cycling and arm cranking. Respiratory and peripheral muscle force, exercise capacity, and HRQL were re-evaluated in all patients who completed the 12-week rehabilitation (RT n=14, ET n=16). Statistically significant increases in knee extension peak torque (RT 20+/-21%, ET 42+/-21%), maximal knee flexion force (RT 31+/-39%, ET 28+/-37%), elbow flexion force (RT 24+/-19%, ET 33+/-25%), 6-min walking distance (6MWD) (RT 79+/-74 m, ET 95+/-57 m), maximum workload (RT 15+/-16 Watt, ET 14+/-13 Watt) and HRQL (RT 16+/-25 points, ET 16+/-15 points) were observed. No significant differences in changes in HRQL and 6MWD were seen between the two treatments. Resistance training and endurance training have similar effects on peripheral muscle force, exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients with peripheral muscle weakness.