Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint) - 05.17.17

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ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The 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) crew members 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

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, KBRwyle, Houston, TX, United States
Robert J. Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D., University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

NASA Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
NASA Research Office - Human Research Program (NASA Research-HRP)

Research Benefits
Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration, Earth Benefits

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2011 - March 2016; March 2016 - September 2016; April 2017 - September 2017

Expeditions Assigned

Previous 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 crew members 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 spaceflight. 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 crew members for the Moon and Mars missions. The long range goal of NASA's 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 crew members 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 crew members who perform the standard care exercise prescription utilizing the newly designed exercise hardware (ARED and 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 is likely to provide invaluable information in support of the long-term goal of protecting human fitness for longer space exploration missions.

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Space Applications
Upon completion of this study, the research team expects 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 spaceflight. This is likely to provide invaluable information in support of the investigators' 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 can be used on Earth to aid in muscle, bone and cardiovascular health.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

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.

In-flight monitoring of training loads on ARED and COLBERT are evaluated to assess 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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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Animal and Human Biology AH2
Animal and Human Biology AH6

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Exercise Physiology

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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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image NASA Image: ISS029E025270 - NASA astronaut Mike Fossum performs a SPRINT leg muscle self scan.
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image NASA Image: ISS029E025280 - NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Expedition 29 commander, performs a SPRINT leg muscle self scan.
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image NASA Image: ISS040E123262 - NASA astronaut Steve Swanson sets up the Portable Pulmonary Function System hardware for Sprint VO2max sessions.
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image NASA Image: ISS033E023129 - JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide conducts a final SPRINT leg scan.
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