Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint) - 01.14.15

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint) evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers during long-duration missions.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Lori L. Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom Sprint

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Lori L. Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D., Universities Space Research Association, Houston, TX, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Scott W. Trappe, Ph.D., Ball State University, Muncie, IN, United States
  • Mark Guilliams, M.A., Wyle, Houston, TX, United States
  • David S. Martin, RDMS, RDCS, Wyle Laboratories, Houston, TX, United States
  • Robert J. Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D., Universities Space Research Association, Houston, TX, United States

  • Developer(s)
    NASA Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

    Research Benefits
    Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration, Earth Benefits

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2011 - Ongoing

    Expeditions Assigned

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Three days per week of resistance training using the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) at a higher intensity (periodized higher load training) better protects against loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, and similarly protects bone health compared to resistance exercise on ARED six days per week at a lower intensity and higher volume (current standard care).

    • Alternating days of high intensity interval training with days of continuous aerobic exercise is more effective than predominantly continuous aerobic exercise (current standard care) for the maintenance of cardiovascular function.

    • Recovery of muscle function and VO2max (maximal aerobic capacity) is most rapid in the Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint) group, followed by standard care prescription (new exercise hardware, standard prescription), followed by crewmembers who used the old exercise hardware.

    ISS Science Challenge Student Reflection

    ISS Science Challenge Selected Project
    We picked Sprint because we thought it looked very interesting. We learned that it protects from bone and muscle loss. It helps the heart function. We think it is very useful for the ISS Crew Members.
    -Liam, Blade, Carson, Dalton and Bryce, Grade 6, Madison Elementary School, Massena, New York

    Current exercise countermeasures on the International Space Station (ISS) are insufficient to prevent muscle atrophy, cardiovascular deconditioning and bone loss associated with long-duration space flight. Despite crew allocation of approximately 2.5 hours per day to exercise, decrements in fitness are observed following flights averaging 180 days in duration. Muscle strength is decreased 11% to 17%, muscular endurance approximately 10% and bone mineral density 2% to 7%. There is a need to prevent spaceflight-related deconditioning to protect the health and mission readiness of current ISS crew as well as to enable NASA to protect fitness of even longer duration crewmembers for the Moon and Mars missions. Investigator’s long range goal in the Exercise Physiology and Countermeasures Project is to develop and optimize exercise countermeasures for use in long-duration spaceflights. Investigators utilize ISS as a platform and laboratory with the ultimate goal of supporting increasingly longer duration space exploration missions; therefore, this research benefits both ISS crew and future crewmembers on even longer missions such as the Moon and Mars. The objective of the current proposal is to evaluate a new exercise prescription using new exercise hardware on ISS. The new Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint) protocol uses an evidence based approach to develop a higher intensity, lower duration exercise program utilizing ISS exercise hardware: the Advanced Resistance Exercise Device (ARED) and a second generation treadmill, Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT). Accordingly, Sprint differs from standard care primarily on the increased intensity and decreased total exercise time. The effectiveness of Sprint is determined by comparison of pre- and post-flight measurements of muscle, cardiovascular and bone health against two other groups. The comparison groups include crewmembers who perform the standard care exercise prescription utilizing the newly designed exercise hardware (ARED & COLBERT), and a historic data set of those who used a standard care exercise prescription using the old exercise hardware.

    Upon completion of this study, investigators expect to provide an integrated resistance and aerobic exercise training protocol capable of maintaining muscle, bone and cardiovascular health while reducing total exercise time over 180 days of spaceflight. This will provide invaluable information in support of the investigator’s long-term goal of protecting human fitness for longer space exploration missions.

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    Space Applications
    Upon completion of this study, investigators expect to provide an integrated resistance and aerobic exercise training protocol capable of maintaining muscle, bone and cardiovascular health while reducing total exercise time over the course of a long-duration space flight. This will provide invaluable information in support of investigator’s long term goal of protecting human fitness for even longer space exploration missions.

    Earth Applications
    Data gathered from the Sprint investigation may help scientists develop/enhance aerobic training and resistance protocols that may be used on Earth to aid in muscle, bone and cardiovascular health.

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    Operational Requirements
    The Sprint experiment requires a count of 20 active and 20 control subjects. The active subjects perform all aspects of the protocol.  The control subjects complete the same pre-, in- and post-flight tests, but do not perform the Sprint exercise prescription (they do consent to sharing of exercise data from their nominal regimen). VO2max data collections are performed monthly in flight starting with FD 14. Ultrasound scans are on FD 14, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and R-7 for a mission duration of six months with additional sessions performed monthly for a mission duration of one year. There is a requirement for real-time data downlink during the VO2max measurement and remote guidance for all ultrasound scans. Subject-specific exercise prescriptions (active subjects only) are uploaded weekly and actual exercise data downlinked weekly.

    Operational Protocols
    In-flight monitoring of training loads on ARED and COLBERT are evaluated as assessment of muscle function. Cardiovascular fitness includes a monthly measurement of VO2max, heart rate (HR) response to submaximal exercise and ventilatory threshold. Monthly ultrasound scans of the thigh and calf are used to evaluate spaceflight-induced changes in the muscle volume. Active subjects perform the new Sprint exercise prescription in flight, six days per week, beginning as early as possible; preferably on the first full in flight day. The first two weeks in flight are an acclimation period of reduced training intensity and volume; after week two, the full training begins. The early onset of training is an important evidence-based aspect of Sprint for prevention of the initial deconditioning that can occur in the first 30 days of unloading in the absence of any exercise program.

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

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    Related Websites
    Exercise Countermeasures Project (ECP)

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    image NASA Image: ISS029E036754 - NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Expedition 29 commander, performs a SPRINT leg muscle self scan in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station. Fossum powered on the Ultrasound 2 (USND-2) unit and Video Power Converter (VPC) hardware, and connected the VPC to Human Research Facility 1 (HRF-1) in order to perform this activity.

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    image NASA Image: ISS033E011677 - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide,Expedition 33 flight engineer,performing a Sprint Ultrasound 2 Pre-Scan,in the Columbus module.
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