Lopes, P. B., Bento, P. C., Pereira, G., Cavazza, J. F., Wolf, R., & Rodacki, A. F. (2013). Power and strength training on functionality and maximal isometric contractions in elderly. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 1549.

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This study compared the effects of power and strength training on the functional capacity, torque, and rate of torque development of elderly women (aged 60+ years). Ss were divided into three groups: control group (N = 11), power (N = 12) and strength (N = 14) training. Ss were invited to perform four functional tests: six minutes of walking, sit-and-reach test, sit-to-stand test, and the feet-up-and-go test. The ability to produce maximal voluntary isometric contractions (peak and rate of torque development) was determined using a maximal voluntary isometric contraction test applied to the extensor and flexor muscles of the hip, knee, and ankle joints. The power and strength groups underwent 12 weeks of training. Ss were requested not to engage in any other physical activity program during the study or to change their physical activity routines.

The sit-to-stand test improved in the power group. Peak torque increased in all muscle groups of the power and strength groups. The rate of torque development increased in the power group around the hip- and knee-extensor muscles, while the strength group showed no changes.

Implication. Power and strength-training regimens are effective for changing the voluntary isometric contraction, but power training is more effective in increasing the rate of torque development and functionality. Exercises at high speed are effective for improving muscle functioning (peak torque and rate of torque development) and functionality.

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