The aim was to determine whether strength training with machines vs. functional strength training at 80% of one-repetition maximum improves muscle strength and power among the elderly. Sixty-three subjects (69.9 ± 4.1 yr) were randomized to a high-power strength group (HPSG), a functional strength group (FSG), or a nonrandomized control group (CG). Data were collected using a force platform and linear encoder. The training dose was 2 times/wk, 3 sets × 8 reps, for 11 wk. There were no differences in effect between HPSG and FSG concerning sit-to-stand power, box-lift power, and bench-press maximum force. Leg-press maximum force improved in HPSG (19.8%) and FSG (19.7%) compared with CG (4.3%; p = .026). Bench-press power improved in HPSG (25.1%) compared with FSG (0.5%, p = .02) and CG (2%, p = .04). Except for bench-press power there were no differences in the effect of the training interventions on functional power and maximal body strength.
Lohne-Seiler and Torstveit are with the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. Anderssen is with the Dept. of Sport Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.