Comparison of once-weekly and twice-weekly strength training in older adults

Br J Sports Med. 2007 Jan;41(1):19-22. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2006.029330. Epub 2006 Oct 24.


Background: Strength training has been shown to benefit the health and function of older adults.

Objective: To investigate whether one set of exercises performed once a week was as effective in increasing muscle strength as training twice a week.

Methods: 18 subjects (7 women and 11 men) aged 65-79 years were randomly assigned to two groups. Both groups performed one set of exercises to muscular fatigue; group 1 trained 1 day/week and group 2 trained 2 days/week on three lower and three upper body exercises for 9 weeks. The data were analysed using a mixed model 2 x 2 analysis of variance.

Results: A significant main effect of time (p<0.001), but not group, on one-repetition maximum scores was observed. No significant interaction was observed between time and group and therefore no difference in strength changes between training once a week versus twice a week after 9 weeks.

Conclusions: One set of exercises performed once weekly to muscle fatigue improved strength as well as twice a week in the older adult. Our results provide information that will assist in designing strength-training programmes that are more time and cost efficient in producing health and fitness benefits for older adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Time Factors