Early plateaus of power and torque gains during high- and low-speed resistance training of older women

Joseph F. Signorile, Michelle P. Carmel, Shenghan Lai, Bernard A. Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Periodization is the most effective approach to resistance training; however, optimal cycle lengths for older persons are not known. This study examined the durations of performance increments, plateaus, and decrements in women, ages 61-75 yr, over 9 wk of isokinetic training. After a 2-wk adaptation cycle, older women trained for either power (PWR; 4.73 rad/s; n = 9) or strength (STR; 1.05 rad/s; n = 8), 3 days/wk with a 1-day recovery between sessions.. Repetitions were initially selected to equilibrate work volume between groups. Average power (AP), peak torque (PT), and total work (TW) curves were analyzed using forward and backward stepwise regression to ascertain inflections and plateaus. PWR training produced the highest AP, whereas STR produced the highest PT. TW was similar between groups. The AP curves of the PWR group initially showed a steep positive slope and then plateaued during week 3. The right leg plateau lasted throughout training, whereas the left leg showed another positive inflection during weeks 7 and 8. PWR group TW curves showed positive slopes throughout training. STR group PT curves for both legs showed initial positive slopes peaking between weeks 3 and 4 and declining thereafter. The TW curves for both legs showed slight negative slopes across the first 2 wk, steep positive slopes during weeks 3-6, and a final plateau. Because improvements plateau early during PWR and STR training, isokinetic training prescriptions for optimizing strength and power improvements in older persons should use cycles of 3-4 wk to maximize gains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1220
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly
  • Exercise
  • Periodization
  • Prescription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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