The purpose of this study was to compare the neuromuscular adaptations produced by strength-training (ST) and power-training (PT) regimens in older individuals. Participants were balanced by quadriceps cross-sectional area (CSA) and leg-press 1-repetition maximum and randomly assigned to an ST group (n = 14; 63.6 ± 4.0 yr, 79.7 ± 17.2 kg, and 163.9 ± 9.8 cm), a PT group (n = 16; 64.9 ± 3.9 yr, 63.9 ± 11.9 kg, and 157.4 ± 7.7 cm), or a control group (n = 13; 63.0 ± 4.0 yr, 67.2 ± 10.8 kg, and 159.8 ± 6.8 cm). ST and PT were equally effective in increasing (a) maximum dynamic and isometric strength (p < .05), (b) increasing quadriceps muscle CSA (p < .05), and (c) decreasing electrical mechanical delay of the vastus lateralis muscle (p < .05). There were no significant changes in neuromuscular activation after training. The novel finding of the current study is that PT seems to be an attractive alternative to regular ST to maintain and improve muscle mass.
Wallerstein, Tricoli, Barroso, Russo, and Ugrinowitsch are with the School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Rodacki is with the Center of Motor Behavior Studies, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. Aihara and Fernandes are with the Radiology Dept., and de Mello, the Psychobiology and Exercise Research Center, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.