Choosing Wisely:

Don’t prescribe under-dosed strength training programs for older adults. Instead, match the frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise to the individual’s abilities and goals.

Rationale and Comments: Improved strength in older adults is associated with improved health, quality of life, and functional capacity, and with a reduced risk of falls. Older adults are often prescribed low dose exercise and physical activity that are physiologically inadequate to increase gains in muscle strength. Failure to establish accurate baseline levels of strength limits the adequacy of the strength training dosage and progression, and thus limits the benefits of the training. A carefully developed and individualized strength training program may have significant health benefits for older adults.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • Sources:
  • Systematic review
  • Disciplines:
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Sports Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • References: • Silva NL, Oliveira RB, Fleck SJ, Leon AC, Farinatti P. Influence of strength training variables on strength gains in adults over 55 years old: a meta-analysis of dose-response relationships. J Sci Med Sport. 2014;17(3):337–44.
    • Raymond MJ, Bramley-Tzerefos RE, Jeffs KJ, Winter A, Holland AE. Systematic review of high-intensity progressive resistance strength training of the lower limb compared with other intensities of strength training in older adults. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;94(8):1458–72.
    • Valenzuela T. Efficacy of progressive resistance training interventions in older adults in nursing homes: a systematic review. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2012;13(5):418–28.
    • Mayer F, Scharhag-Rosenberger F, Carlsohn A, Cassel M, Muller S, Scharhag J. The intensity and effects of strength training in the elderly. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2011;108(21):359–64.
    • Nicola F, Catherine S. Dose-response relationship of resistance training in older adults: a meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2011;45(3):233–4.

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