Are There Gender Differences in Eccentric Strength Responses to Strength Training in the Elderly?

By Ty Sevin, Sep 01, 2021

< Back to Benefits of Strength Training on Strength and Power Gains in Older Adults

B.L. Tracy, J.T. Lemmer, E.J. Metter, J.L. Fozard, J.L. Fleg & B.F. Hurley, FACSM. Univ. of Maryland and NIA, Geriatric Research Center, College Park & Baltimore, MD (Sponsor: B.F. Hurley, FACSM).

Objectives

Eleven women and 13 men ranging in age from 65-74, were tested to determine whether eccentric strength-(strength when the muscle is lengthening) and concentric strength (strength when the muscle is shortening) respond differently to strength training in older women than in older men. Knee extensor peak torques were measured on each leg before and after a 9 week heavy strength training program on the Keiser K-300 leg extension machine. Each subject only trained one leg, with the other leg measured as a reference control.

Results

There were increases in eccentric strength peak torque in the trained legs of the older men, but not in women. There was also a trend for increases in eccentric strength in the untrained leg of both men and women. Therefore, the increases in eccentric peak torque in the trained leg of men were not deemed statistically significant. Concentric peak torque increased significantly in the trained leg of both men and women.

Summary

When the strength of an untrained leg is compared to the strength of the leg undergoing heavy strength training, there are no significant gender differences in eccentric or concentric strength responses in older individuals. Therefore, both older women and men can expect similar responses to strength training of the leg extensors. When the strength of an untrained leg is compared to the strength of the leg undergoing heavy strength training, there are no significant gender differences in eccentric or concentric strength responses in older individuals. Therefore, both older women and men can expect similar responses to strength training of the leg extensors.

Keiser Equipment Used

Leg extension machine.

Published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; Vo\.29, No. 5 Supplement, Thursday, May 29, 1993.

About the author

Ty Sevin

Director of Human Performance, Education and Research

Articles by Ty Sevin >

With over 25 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and Olympic levels, Ty Sevin is one of the most influential track and field coaches in the country. Ty has worked for the United States Olympic Committee, serving as the Director of the Track and Field Residency Program at the USOC Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. He has also served as an assistant coach for Team USA on three separate occasions, for both the men’s and women’s teams. Ty himself was a four-time U.S. Olympics Trials qualifier in javelin. Ty most recently spent four years as the Associate Head Coach at the University of Texas at Austin for both the men’s and women’s track and field teams. Prior to that, he led the men’s and women’s track and cross-country teams at the University of New Orleans and McNeese State.

Currently, Ty applies his vast industry experience to the role of Director of Human Performance, Research and Education for Keiser Corporation, where he consults with college and professional sports teams regarding the utilization of Keiser strength equipment. He is also responsible for creating educational curriculum relating to human performance and overseeing Keiser research projects