Effects of 16 Weeks of High-Intensity Strength Training on Frail Adults With Chronic Disease

By Ty Sevin, Sep 01, 2021

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C.W. Cortes, FACSM, E.J. Poznek, D.N. Woods, E. Daley, K.D. Bradley, R.Y. Wang, Activelife, Philadelphia Geriatric Center, Philadelphia, PA.


15 subjects were medically screened according to 3 criteria; 1) over 70 years of age, 2) medically stable, and 3) enrolled in an exercise program for at least 3 months. The subjects aged 73-85 were each tested 3 separate times to assess peak oxygen uptake. Keiser strength equipment was used to determine strength measurements in the knee extensors and tricep extensors. Training consisted of performing 3 sets of 6 repetitions at 80% of 3 repetition maximum.


Body weight was reduced following training. In addition knee extension strength increased 69%, while tricep strength increased 59%. Strength training did not aggravate any of the chronic conditions and many of the subjects self reported feeling better as a result of the improved strength. The changes in ventilation, oxygen uptake, respiratory quotient and heart rate were statistically non-significant, however the measurements indicate a trend towards improved respiratory efficiency.


Dramatic increases in muscle strength did not translate into significant improvements in peak oxygen uptake. However, high intensity strength training is safe and effective for preserving physical function even in subjects with chronic conditions such as arthritis, hypertension or coronary artery disease. Improved physical function can in return help frail adults cope with their chronic conditions.

Keiser Equipment Used

Leg extension and tricep pushdown

Published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Copyright 1995 by the American College of Sports Medicine.

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