Gains in Muscular Strength Are Maintained Eight Weeks After Strength Training Ends in Elderly

By Ty Sevin, Aug 31, 2021

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

J. T. Lemmer, B.L. Tracy, D.E. Hurlbut, G.F. Mare(, E.J. Metter, J.L. Fozard, J.L. Fleg, & B.F. Hurley, FACSM. Univ. of Maryland & NIA, Ger. Res. Ctr, College Park & Baltimore, MD (Sponsor: B.F. Hurley, FACSM).


To determine whether strength gains achieved from strength training are maintained 8 weeks after the completion of training, 11 women and 11 men ranging in age from 65-7 4 were studied before and after a 9 week heavy strength training program. 1 repetition maximum tests and peak torque of the knee extensors were measured on each leg before training (1 leg was designated as the untrained control). These measures were also taken within 48 hours after the last training session and again 8 weeks later. The Keiser K-300 Leg Extension machine was used for the 1 repetition maximum tests and training.


A small increase was observed in the untrained leg due to what is called "cross-educational effects". Significant increases were observed in the trained leg in both men and women. These gains were maintained 8 weeks after the end of the training program for both women and men. Similar findings from the peak torque test reinforced the findings for maintenance of strength gains.


Short term heavy strength training can lead to significant strength gains that can last at least 8 weeks after the completion of training. This has implications for those who are involved in strength training on a sporadic basis. A substantial break in the training program does not result in a loss of the substantial strength gains.

Keiser Equipment Used

Leg extension machine.

Published in Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise; Vol.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