Effect of a training programme for pensioners on condition and muscular strength

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 1984 Oct;3(3):229-41. doi: 10.1016/0167-4943(84)90024-4.


Physical training was performed by 22 women aged between 63 and 84 yr and 4 men aged between 74 and 86 yr twice a week for 10 mths. Some subjects had moderate disorders but all of them lived in their own homes. Apart from using body weight and elastic bands, no special equipment was used as resistance. Emphasis was laid on training muscular strength and not especially on endurance training. The effect of the training on physical fitness and muscular strength is presented in the 15 women who, according to predetermined criteria, were able to perform the tests adequately. A conditioning effect was detected by using a product of watts and minutes. The static and dynamic (isokinetic) muscular strength in the knee-extensors increased (6-13%) and, parallel with this, there was an increase in the relative FTa fibre area in the vastus lateralis muscle. The training programme in this study seems to be safe for an older population with diverse disorders, as only one negligible medical incident occurred. The present findings, with objective improvement in physical fitness with training combined with feelings of increased vigour, supports the use of gymnastic activity for pensioners and other means of stimulating the elderly to keep physically active even when they have moderate disorders. Improved physical fitness may help to prevent age-dependent impairments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Kinase / metabolism
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Capillaries / physiology
  • Citrate (si)-Synthase / metabolism
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / blood supply
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Retirement*


  • Citrate (si)-Synthase
  • Adenylate Kinase