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Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2008 Jun 13;6:45. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-6-45.

Enhancing quality of life in older adults: a comparison of muscular strength and power training.

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Department of Health & Exercise Science, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.



Although progressive resistance strength training (ST) has been found to improve various measures of physical functioning in older adults, the benefit to quality of life is unclear. Additionally, recent evidence suggests that high velocity power training (PT) may be more beneficial for physical functioning than ST, but it is not known whether this type of training impacts quality of life. The purpose of this study was to compare changes in multiple measures of quality of life resulting from ST vs. PT in older adults. A no exercise group was also included as control comparison condition.


Forty-five older adults (M age = 74.8 years; SD = 5.7) were randomly assigned to either a) PT, b) ST, or c) control group (no exercise). Measures of self-efficacy (SE), satisfaction with physical function (SPF), and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWL) were assessed at baseline and following training. The resistance training conditions met 3 times per week for 12 weeks at an intensity of 70% 1 repetition maximum.


A series of ANCOVA's comparing between group differences in change and controlling for baseline values revealed significant group differences in all three measures: SE (F(2,31) = 9.77; p < .001); SPF (F(2,32) = 3.36; p = .047); SWL (F(2,31) = 4.76; p = .016). Follow up analyses indicated that the PT group reported significantly more change in SE, SPF, and SWL than the control group whereas the ST group reported greater change than the control group only in SE.


These pilot data indicate that high velocity power training may influence multiple levels of quality of life over and above the benefits gained through traditional strength training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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