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Exp Gerontol. 2014 Oct;58:51-7. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2014.07.001. Epub 2014 Jul 9.

High-speed resistance training is more effective than low-speed resistance training to increase functional capacity and muscle performance in older women.

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Department of Physical Activity Sciences, Universidad de Los Lagos, Osorno, Chile.
School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Laboratory of Exercise Sciences, MEDS Clinic, Santiago, Chile.
Family Health Center, Los Lagos, Chile.
Department of Physical Education, Sport and Recreation, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile.
School of Health, Duoc UC, Santiago, Chile.
Department of Sport Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal; Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, Vila Real, Portugal.
Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, Vila Real, Portugal; Department of Sport Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal.
Department of Health Sciences, Public University of Navarre, Navarre, Spain. Electronic address:



To examine the effects of 12 weeks of high-speed resistance training (RT) versus low-speed RT on muscle strength [one repetition of maximum leg-press (1RMLP) and bench-press (1RMBP), plus dominant (HGd) and non-dominant maximum isometric handgrip], power [counter-movement jump (CMJ), ball throwing (BT) and 10-m walking sprint (S10)], functional performance [8-foot up-and-go test (UG) and sit-to-stand test (STS)], and perceived quality of life in older women.


45 older women were divided into a high-speed RT group [EG, n=15, age=66.3±3.7y], a low-speed RT group [SG, n=15, age=68.7±6.4y] and a control group [CG, n=15, age=66.7±4.9y]. The SG and EG were submitted to a similar 12-week RT program [3 sets of 8 reps at 40-75% of the one-repetition maximum (1<RM), CMJ and BT] using slow, controlled (3s) concentric muscle actions for the SG and using fast, explosive (<1s) concentric muscle actions for the EG (20% less work per exercise without CMJ and BT).


Over the 12-week training period, both RT groups showed small to large clinically significant improvements in the dependent variables; however, a significant difference was found between the EG and SG for the performance changes in BT, S10 and UG (20% vs. 11%, p<0.05; 14% vs. 9%, p<0.05; 18% vs. 10%, p<0.01; respectively). No significant changes were observed for the CG.


Both RT interventions are effective in improving functional capacity, muscle performance and quality of life in older women, although a high-speed RT program induces greater improvements in muscle power and functional capacity.


Adaptation; Aging; Power output; Resistance training; Women

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