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

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2007 Feb;99(3):257-64. doi: 10.1007/s00421-006-0343-1. Epub 2006 Dec 5.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Lifting