A-22 Thematic Poster - Older Adults: JUNE 1, 2011 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM: ROOM: 403
PURPOSE: Power training improves muscle power and some functional tasks in older adults; however, training at high-speeds may have a critical impact on high-speed movements necessary for safety in this population. Our objective was to examine the impact of high-speed power training on muscle performance and braking speed in older adults.
METHODS: 64 older adults (21m, 43f; Age=70.2±7.0yrs; Ht=169.2±10.0cm; Wt=82.4±19.0 kg) were randomized to high-speed power training at 40% one-repetition maximum (1RM) (HSPT: n=24; 3 sets of 12-14 repetitions), slow-speed strength training at 80%1RM (SSST: n=22; 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions) or control (CON: n=18; stretching) 3 times/week for 12 weeks. Leg Press (LP) 1RM and LP peak power (PP), peak power velocity (PPV), and peak power force (PPF) were obtained at 40%-90% 1RM at baseline and 12 weeks using Keiser pneumatic resistance training equipment (Fresno, CA). Mobility-based functional tasks and braking speed on a driving simulator were assessed at baseline and at 12 weeks.
RESULTS: PP and PPV (from 40%-90%1RM) improved in HSPT and SSST compared to CON (ANOVA; all p<0.05); however, HSPT demonstrated greater improvements at lower resistances (∼40%-60% 1RM) compared to SSST (ANOVA; p<0.05). Lower-limb braking speed on a driving simulator improved with HSPT compared to SSST and CON (p<0.05), but no other functional task improved with training.
CONCLUSIONS: Power- and speed-related muscle performance characteristics showed greater improvement with HSPT compared to SSST and may have contributed to the improved braking speed observed in HSPT. Because older drivers are at greater risk for injury-related deaths while driving, these findings may have significant public health implications for our aging population.