Contributions of force and velocity to improved power with progressive resistance training in young and older adults
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- Petrella, J.K., Kim, J., Tuggle, S.C. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2007) 99: 343. doi:10.1007/s00421-006-0353-z
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We investigated the effects of age on changes in the force and velocity components of knee extension (KE) power during 16 weeks of traditional progressive resistance training (PRT). Thirty-one young (27 ± 1 years, 16 men, 15 women) and 30 older (64 ± 1 years, 14 men, 16 women) adults trained by KE, leg press, and squat 3 days/week. PRT consisted of three sets with an appropriate load for 8–12 repetitions to fatigue. Testing occurred at baseline, 8, and 16 weeks. Thigh lean mass (TLM) was measured by DEXA. KE load–power and load–velocity curves were generated from peak concentric contractions against loads equivalent to 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60% maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) force. Quadriceps neural activation relative to maximum was assessed during a sit-to-stand task. Participants increased KE 1RM (P < 0.05) by 8 weeks with young adults also increasing strength from 8 to 16 weeks. Adjusting for TLM, all groups increased KE specific strength (P < 0.05). MVC improved by 8 weeks in older adults and by 16 weeks in young subjects (P < 0.05). Neural activation requirements during standing and sitting declined in older adults by 8 weeks (P < 0.05). The KE load–power curve improved for all groups (P < 0.05) by 8 weeks with only young adults improving from 8 to 16 weeks. Peak concentric velocity increased only in older adults (P < 0.05). Training improvements in power resulted primarily from increases in strength both early and late for young adults while older adults realized early improvements in both strength and peak concentric velocity.