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Differential effects of strength versus power training on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a 2-year longitudinal study
  1. Simon von Stengel1,
  2. Wolfgang Kemmler1,
  3. Willi A Kalender1,
  4. Klaus Engelke1,
  5. Dirk Lauber2
  1. 1
    Institute of Medical Physics, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  2. 2
    Institute of Sports Science, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  1. Dr S von Stengel, Institute of Medical Physics, University of Erlangen, Henkestr 91, 91052 Erlangen, Germany; simon.von.stengel{at}


Objectives: To investigate the effect of two different schemes of loading in resistance training on bone mineral density (BMD) and pain in pretrained postmenopausal women.

Methods: 53 pretrained women (mean (SD) age 58.2 (3.7) years) who carried out a mixed resistance and gymnastics programme were randomly assigned to a strength training (ST) or power training (PT) group. The difference between the two groups was the movement velocity during the resistance training (ST, 4 s (concentric)/4 s (eccentric); PT, explosive/4 s). Otherwise both groups carried out periodised progressive resistance training (10–12 exercises, 2–4 sets, 4–12 repetitions at 70–92.5% of the one-repetition maximum (2/week) for 2 years. Mechanical loading was determined with a force measuring plate during the leg press exercise. At baseline and after 2 years, BMD was measured at different sites with dual x-ray absorptiometry. Pain was assessed by questionnaire.

Results: Loading magnitude, loading/unloading rate, loading amplitude and loading frequency differed significantly (p<0.001) between the two groups. After 2 years, significant between-group differences were detected for BMD (PT, −0.3%; ST, −2.4%; p<0.05) and bone area (PT, 0.4%; ST, −0.9%; p<0.05) at the lumbar spine. At the hip, there was a non-significant trend in favour of the PT group. Also the incidence of pain indicators at the lumbar spine was more favourable in the PT group.

Conclusion: The results show that PT may be superior for maintaining BMD in postmenopausal women. Furthermore, PT was safe as it did not lead to increased injury or pain.

  • postmenopausal women
  • exercise
  • strength training
  • power training
  • bone mineral density

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    one-repetition maximum
    bone mineral density
    power training
    strength training

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