Contributions of force and velocity to improved power with progressive resistance training in young and older adults

Academic Article


  • We investigated the effects of age on changes in the force and velocity components of knee extension (KE) power during 16 weeks of traditional progressive resistance training (PRT). Thirty-one young (27 ± 1 years, 16 men, 15 women) and 30 older (64 ± 1 years, 14 men, 16 women) adults trained by KE, leg press, and squat 3 days/week. PRT consisted of three sets with an appropriate load for 8-12 repetitions to fatigue. Testing occurred at baseline, 8, and 16 weeks. Thigh lean mass (TLM) was measured by DEXA. KE load-power and load-velocity curves were generated from peak concentric contractions against loads equivalent to 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60% maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) force. Quadriceps neural activation relative to maximum was assessed during a sit-to-stand task. Participants increased KE 1RM (P < 0.05) by 8 weeks with young adults also increasing strength from 8 to 16 weeks. Adjusting for TLM, all groups increased KE specific strength (P < 0.05). MVC improved by 8 weeks in older adults and by 16 weeks in young subjects (P < 0.05). Neural activation requirements during standing and sitting declined in older adults by 8 weeks (P < 0.05). The KE load-power curve improved for all groups (P < 0.05) by 8 weeks with only young adults improving from 8 to 16 weeks. Peak concentric velocity increased only in older adults (P < 0.05). Training improvements in power resulted primarily from increases in strength both early and late for young adults while older adults realized early improvements in both strength and peak concentric velocity. © Springer-Verlag 2006.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Petrella JK; Kim JS; Tuggle SC; Bamman MM
  • Start Page

  • 343
  • End Page

  • 351
  • Volume

  • 99
  • Issue

  • 4