Higher muscle power training volume is not determinant for the magnitude of neuromuscular improvements in elderly women

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The aim of this study was to compare the effects of 12 weeks of muscle power training using one- and three-sets on neuromuscular adaptations in elderly women. Twenty six healthy elderly women were randomly assigned into two groups: one-set (n = 13) and three-sets (n = 13). Maximal dynamic and isometric strength, rapid force assessed as absolute and normalized rate of force development (RTD) and contractile impulse during unilateral leg knee extension at 0–50 and 0–200 ms, overall quadriceps muscle thickness, muscle power during a countermovement jump (CMJ), and functional performance using time-up-and-go and the timed stair climb tests were evaluated before and after training. After 12 weeks, one-set and three-sets groups exhibited significant (p ≤ 0.05) and comparable increases in dynamic and isometric strength, absolute RTD and contractile impulse at 0–50 and at 0–200 ms and in the performance of both functional tests. No significant differences between groups were evident for any measured parameters (p > 0.05). Furthermore, the normalized RTD did not increase for any group (p > 0.05). Over 12 weeks, the muscle power training performing one- or three-sets induced alike improvements in muscle function, mass and functionally. These evidences suggest that a low training volume is able to induce significant improvements in age-related neuromuscular changes.

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