Velocity Training Induces Power-Specific Adaptations In Highly Functioning Older Adults

By Ty Sevin, Aug 31, 2021

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

Earles, Donald R., Judge, James O., Gunnarsson, Olafur T., Travelers Center on Aging University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT; and Masonic Care Wallingford, CT (Judge).


The main purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of high velocity training in healthy older persons. A twelve-week trial compared high velocity resistance training with a self-paced walking program in forty volunteers over 70 years of age. Three days per week resistance training consisted of lower extremity exercises (step ups, chair rises and plantar flexion) performed at high velocity with weekly increases in resistance. Leg press training began in the 3rd week. Variables measured included leg press peak power and leg extensor strength . Functional performance outcomes included: 6 minute walk distance, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Physical Performance Test (PPT-8), and Short Form 36 (SF-36).


Peak power improved 22% (p = .004) in the power trained group (3.7 ± 1.0 to 4.5 ± 1.4 W.Kg) but did not change in the walkers (3.99 ± .76 to 3.65 ± .94 Leg extensor power at resistances of 50, 60 and 70% of body weight increased 50, 77, and 141% respectively in the power-trained group (p < .0001), repeated measures ANOVA. Strength improved 22% in the power-trained individuals and 12% in the walkers (p < .0001). Training did not improve functional task performance scores in either group.


This particular resistance training protocol focusing on speed of movement, improved leg power and maximal strength substantially but did not improve functional performance (as measured by the identified tests) in healthy high-functioning older volunteers.


Eighty eight percent of the participant’s daily repetitions consisted of a variety of lower extremity exercises incorporating weight belts and/or use of a box and other step up platforms. Only 12% of the daily repetitions used the Keiser leg press machine. In addition, the exclusion criteria was designed to reduce the risk of injury during the training protocol, but also resulted in a high functioning group which may have limited the potential for improvements in physical performance measures. Further study is warranted to determine if these types of “home-based” interventions may be useful in improving functional performance in older adults who have a more average level of function.

Keiser Equipment Used

K400 Leg Press

Published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,2001 July;82(7):872-8

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