Changes in function and disability after resistance training: Does velocity matter? A pilot study

Stephen P. Sayers, Jonathan Bean, Anthony Cuoco, Nathan K. LeBrasseur, Alan Jette, Roger A. Fielding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the effects of high- and low-velocity resistance training on functional performance and disability outcomes in physically limited older women. Design: A total of 16 wk of high-velocity resistance training or traditional low-velocity resistance training consisting of knee extension and leg press exercises was performed three times per week by 30 women with self-reported disability to compare their effect on functional performance and disability. Tests of dynamic balance, stair-climb time, chair-rise time, and gait velocity were used to assess changes in functional performance. Changes in disability were assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form. Results: Dynamic balance and stair-climb time improved 8% and 10%, respectively, with training. Self-reported disability, physical functioning, role physical, and mental health improved 11, 9, and 5% with training, respectively. There were no significant differences between high- and low-velocity training groups. Conclusions: High- and low-velocity training achieved similar improvements in functional performance and disability. Improvements in functional performance and disability were modest compared with robust increases in strength and power. Specific modes of training or behavioral strategies may be necessary to optimize improvements in these outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-613
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Aging
  • Disablement Outcomes
  • Functional Performance
  • Impairment
  • Lower Limb Power
  • Lower Limb Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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