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Comparison of once-weekly and twice-weekly strength training in older adults
  1. J DiFrancisco-Donoghue1,
  2. W Werner2,
  3. P C Douris2
  1. 1Academic Health Care Center of The New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Old Westbury, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Physical Therapy, New York Institute of Technology, School of Health Professions, Behavioral and Life Sciences, Old Westbury, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Peter Douris
 Department of Physical Therapy, New York Institute of Technology, PO Box 8000, Old Westbury, New York, NY 11568, USA;pdouris{at}


Background: Strength training has been shown to benefit the health and function of older adults.

Objective: To investigate whether one set of exercises performed once a week was as effective in increasing muscle strength as training twice a week.

Methods: 18 subjects (7 women and 11 men) aged 65–79 years were randomly assigned to two groups. Both groups performed one set of exercises to muscular fatigue; group 1 trained 1 day/week and group 2 trained 2 days/week on three lower and three upper body exercises for 9 weeks. The data were analysed using a mixed model 2×2 analysis of variance.

Results: A significant main effect of time (p<0.001), but not group, on one-repetition maximum scores was observed. No significant interaction was observed between time and group and therefore no difference in strength changes between training once a week versus twice a week after 9 weeks.

Conclusions: One set of exercises performed once weekly to muscle fatigue improved strength as well as twice a week in the older adult. Our results provide information that will assist in designing strength-training programmes that are more time and cost efficient in producing health and fitness benefits for older adults.

  • ACSM, American College of Sports Medicine
  • ANOVA, analysis of variance
  • 1-RM, one-repitition maximum

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  • Published Online First 24 October 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.