Longitudinal comparison of low- and high-velocity resistance training in relation to body composition and functional fitness of older adults

  • Michelle Gray
  • Melissa Powers
  • Larissa Boyd
  • Kayla Garver
Original Article



Functional mobility disability affects more than one in five adults over 70 years and increases to 80% by 90 years. While negative changes in mobility are multifactorial, deleterious body composition changes contribute significantly. Resistance training alters the negative trajectory of physical function as well as increases lean mass among older adults. Recently, high-velocity (HV) resistance training has been indicated as an effective intervention to increase lean mass and functional performance.


The present investigation compared body composition, physical function, and muscular strength changes between HV and LV resistance training programs.


Participants > 65 years (n = 53) were randomly assigned to LV, HV, or active control (AC) group and participated in their respective intervention for 48 weeks.


Analysis of covariance revealed no significant body composition changes over time between groups (p > 0.05). Eight-foot up-and-go performance improved in the HV and AC groups (p < 0.05) with no change in the LV group (p > 0.05) over time. Muscular strength increased in both the LV and HV groups within the first 24 weeks, while only in the LV group, muscular strength continued to increase from 24 to 48 weeks (p < 0.05).


Resistance training appears to be an effective intervention for improving aspects of physical function and muscular strength; however, no significant changes in body composition were observed over the 48-week intervention.


Findings from the current investigation support use of resistance training for improving physical function among community-dwelling older adults.


High-velocity resistance training Physical function Body composition Muscular strength 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at a Midwest Regional University.

Informed consent

All participants provided written informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exercise Science Research Center, Office for Studies on AgingUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  2. 2.Kinesiology and Health StudiesUniversity of Central OklahomaEdmondUSA
  3. 3.University of Oklahoma Medical CenterOklahoma CityUSA

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