, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 257-264
Date: 05 Dec 2006

Effect of high versus low-velocity resistance training on muscular fitness and functional performance in older men

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This study investigated the effect of a 10-week power training (PT) program versus traditional resistance training (TRT) on functional performance, and muscular power and strength in older men. Twenty inactive volunteers (60–76 years old) were randomly assigned to a PT group (three 8–10 repetition sets performed as fast a possible at 60% of 1-RM) or a TRT group (three 8–10 repetition sets with 2–3 s contractions at 60% of 1-RM). Both groups exercised 2 days/week with the same work output. Outcomes were measured with the Rikli and Jones functional fitness test and a bench and leg press test of maximal power and strength (1-RM). Significant differences between and within groups were analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). At 10 weeks there was a significantly (P < 0.05) greater improvement in measures of functional performance in the PT group. Arm curling improved by 50 versus 3% and a 30 s chair-stand improved by 43 versus 6% in the PT and TRT groups, respectively. There was also a significantly greater improvement in muscular power (P < 0.05) in the PT group. The bench press improved by 37 versus 13%, and the leg press by 31 and 8% in the PT and TRT groups, respectively. There was no significant difference between groups in improved muscular strength. It appears that in older men there may be a significantly greater improvement in functional performance and muscular power with PT versus low velocity resistance training.