A Comparison of Load-Velocity and Load-Power Relationships Between Well-Trained Young and Middle-Aged Males During Three Popular Resistance Exercises

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Fernandes, JFT, Lamb, KL, and Twist, C. A comparison of load-velocity and load-power relationships between well-trained young and middle-aged males during 3 popular resistance exercises. J Strength Cond Res 32(5): 1440–1447, 2018—This study examined the load-velocity and load-power relationships among 20 young (age 21.0 ± 1.6 years) and 20 middle-aged (age 42.6 ± 6.7 years) resistance-trained males. Participants performed 3 repetitions of bench press, squat, and bent-over-row across a range of loads corresponding to 20–80% of 1 repetition maximum (1RM). Analysis revealed effects (p < 0.05) of group and load × group on barbell velocity for all 3 exercises, and interaction effects on power for squat and bent-over-row (p < 0.05). For bench press and bent-over-row, the young group produced higher barbell velocities, with the magnitude of the differences decreasing as load increased (ES; effect size 0.0–1.7 and 1.0–2.0, respectively). Squat velocity was higher in the young group than the middle-aged group (ES 1.0–1.7) across all loads, as was power for each exercise (ES 1.0–2.3). For all 3 exercises, both velocity and 1RM were correlated with optimal power in the middle-aged group (r = 0.613–0.825, p < 0.05), but only 1RM was correlated with optimal power (r = 0.708–0.867, p < 0.05) in the young group. These findings indicate that despite their resistance training, middle-aged males were unable to achieve velocities at low external loads and power outputs as high as the young males across a range of external resistances. Moreover, the strong correlations between 1RM and velocity with optimal power suggest that middle-aged males would benefit from training methods which maximize these adaptations.

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