PURPOSE: There is a lack of information on the effects of power training (PT) as an alternative to traditional strength training (TST) during concurrent training (CT) in older individuals. This study aimed to verify the neuromuscular adaptations that occurred following 16-week interventions with two CT models in older men: high-intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with either TST or PT.
METHODS: Thirty-five older men (65.8 ± 3.9 years) were randomly assigned into one of two training groups CTS: TST + HIIT (n = 18) or CTP: PT + HIIT (n = 17). CTS performed resistance training at intensities ranging from 65 to 80% of 1 RM at slow controlled speed, whereas CTP trained at intensities ranging from 40 to 60% of 1 RM at maximal intentional speed. Lower body one-repetition maximum (1 RM), isometric rate of force development (RFD), countermovement jump (CMJ) muscle power output, quadriceps femoris muscles thickness (QF MT), and peak oxygen uptake (VO 2peak) were assessed before training and after 8 and 16 weeks of CT.
RESULTS: Groups improved similarly in all primary outcomes (P < 0.05), with mean increases ranging: 1 RM (from 39.4 to 75.8%); RFD (from 9.9 to 64.8%); and CMJ muscle power (from 1.8 to 5.2%). Significant increases (P < 0.05) were observed in all secondary outcomes (QF MT, specific tension and VO 2peak) with no differences between groups.
CONCLUSION: CT models were effective for improving maximal and explosive force (1 RM, RFD, and CMJ power), QF MT, and VO 2peak. Moreover, despite that using lower loading intensities, PT induced similar adaptations to those of TST.