Objective: To compare the effects of 12 weeks of traditional resistance training (TRT) or resistance training using Cluster-set (CS) on functional performance and physical fitness of postmenopausal and elderly women. Methods: Participants (61.1±4.9 years, body mass 64.5±1.8 kg, height 155.7±4.7 cm) were randomized to TRT (n= 35) or CS (n=31). Anthropometric measures, muscle strength and power, gait speed, core stability, flexibility, and functional performance tests were performed before and after 12 weeks of training. The difference between protocols was the structure of rest intervals. The TRT group performed 150 seconds of rest between sets of 8 repetitions, while the CS performed 30 seconds of rest after every 2 repetitions. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures was applied for each variable and, when needed, the Bonferroni post hoc was used. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Results: No group by time interaction was found for any variable. Regarding between-moment comparisons, there were significant improvements for 1 repetition maximum (RM) bench press (F= 104.6; ηp²= 0.62; p <0.001), 1RM leg press (F= 74.6; ηp²= 0.53; p< 0.001), medicine ball throw (F= 64.0; ηp²= 0.26; p< 0.001), standing long jump (F= 27.6; ηp²= 0.30; p< 0.001), countermovement jump (F= 17.4; ηp²= 0.21; p <0.001), squat jump (F= 23.2; ηp²= 0.26; p <0.001), plank time (F= 31.6; ηp²= 0.33; p <0.001), 6m walking test (F= 18.0; ηp²= 0.22; p <0.001), sit-to-stand test (F= 20.4; ηp²= 0.24; p <0.001), sit and reach test (F= 56.8; ηp²= 0.47; p <0.001) and 2kg elbow curls (F= 15.9; ηp²= 0.19; p <0.001). Conclusion: Considering that both CS and TRT methods were equally effective to improve the physical fitness and functionality of elderly women, the decision of which protocol to use should be based on individual preferences and practical aspects.
Cluster-sets resistance training induce similar functional and strength improvements than the traditional method in postmenopausal and elderly women.