, 37:41 | Cite as

Medium-intensity, high-volume “hypertrophic” resistance training did not induce improvements in rapid force production in healthy older men

  • Simon WalkerEmail author
  • Heikki Peltonen
  • Keijo Häkkinen


The aim of the study was to determine whether it is possible to improve both maximum and rapid force production using resistance training that is typically used to induce muscle hypertrophy in previously untrained older men. Subjects (60–72 years) performed 20 weeks of “hypertrophic” resistance training twice weekly (n = 27) or control (n = 11). Maximum dynamic and isometric leg press, as well as isometric force over 0–100 ms, and maximum concentric power tests were performed pre- and post-intervention. Muscle activity was assessed during these tests by surface electromyogram of the vastus lateralis and medialis muscles. Muscle hypertrophy was assessed by panoramic ultrasound of the vastus lateralis. The intervention group increased their maximum isometric (from 2268 ± 544 to 2538 ± 701 N) and dynamic force production (from 137 ± 24 to 165 ± 29 kg), and these changes were significantly different to control (isometric 12 ± 16 vs. 1 ± 9 %; dynamic 21 ± 12 vs. 2 ± 4 %). No within- or between-group differences were observed in rapid isometric force or concentric power. Relative increases in vastus lateralis cross-sectional area trended to be statistically greater in the intervention group (10 ± 8 vs. 3 ± 6 %, P = 0.061). It is recommendable that resistance training programs for older individuals integrate protocols emphasizing maximum force/muscle hypertrophy and rapid force production in order to induce comprehensive health-related and functionally important improvements in this population.


Aging Neuromuscular performance Leg press Leg extension Strength EMG 



The authors would like to thank the contribution of Mrs. Pirkko Puttonen, as well as the dedication and effort of the subjects.


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Walker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Heikki Peltonen
    • 1
  • Keijo Häkkinen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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