Age Ageing (2011) 40 (5): 549-556.
Is power training or conventional resistance training better for function in elderly persons? A meta-analysis
Marielle Tschopp, Martin Karl Sattelmayer and Roger Hilfiker
Objective: to determine the effects of power training with high movement velocity compared with conventional resistance training with low movement velocity for older community-dwelling people.
Design: systematic review of randomised controlled trials.
Data sources: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed (Medline), EMBASE, CINAHL, PEDro and Scholar-Google.
Trials: all randomised or quasi-randomised trials investigating power training with high movement velocity versus conventional resistance training with low movement velocity in elderly persons over the age of 60 years. The primary outcomes were measures of functional outcomes; secondary outcomes were balance, gait, strength, power, muscle volume and adverse effects.
Results: eleven trials were identified involving 377 subjects. The pooled effect size for the follow-up values of the functional outcomes was 0.32 in favour of the power training (95% CI 0.06 to 0.57) and 0.38 (95% CI -0.51 to 1.28) for the change value. The pooled effect from three studies for self-reported function was 0.16 in favour of power training (95% CI -0.17 to 0.49).
Conclusion: power training is feasible for elderly persons and has a small advantage over strength training for functional outcomes. No firm conclusion can be made for safety.