Strength Improvements With 1 Year of Progressive Resistance Training in Older Women

By Ty Sevin, Aug 31, 2021

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

Morganti, C.M., Nelson, M.E., Fiatarone, M.A., Dalla(, G.E., Economos, C.D., Crawford, B.M., Evans, W.J. Human Physiology Laboratory and Division of Biostatistics, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University; Division on Aging, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Noll Physiology Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.


Thirty-nine healthy women aged ≈ 59 years were placed in either a control group or a strength training group that trained twice weekly for 12 months. The exercise group trained at 80% of their most recent one repetition maximum. The one repetition maximum was measured for each exercise once a month in the exercise group and at the beginning, mid-study, and end of the study in the control group.


One repetition maximum was increased in the exercise group by ≈ 74% (lateral pull down),≈ 35% (knee extensor), and ≈ 77% (leg press). The control group showed increases of ≈13%, ≈ 3-7% and ≈18% respectively. In the exercise group approximately 50% of the gains in knee extension and lateral pull down, and 40% in the leg press were seen in the first 3 months of the study. In all three exercises strength gains in the exercise group continued over the entire 12-month period.


These data show that high-intensity, progressive strength training results in substantial and continual strength increases in post menopausal women for at least 12 months. The greatest gains were seen in the first 3 months of training. The evidence that you can expect to see improvement in strength over 38 at least a one year period is important both physically and psychologically. It means that your programming should support achievement of long range strength gains. In addition participants should be aware that they can expect a plateau effect at around 3 months, but with continued strength training will likely experience a gradual increase for at least the following 9 months.

Keiser Equipment Used

Lat pull-down, leg extension, and leg press.

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

Link to Original Research

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