Leg press and chest press strength normative values by half-decades in older persons

Rosalia L. Parrino, Keri L. Strand, Adam C. Hockman, Joseph F. Signorile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evaluating muscular strength is vital to the application of effective training protocols that target quality of life and independence in older individuals. Resistance training is a valuable tool to improve functional capacity, strength, and power in this population; however, the lack of normative values for common lifts such as the leg press (LP) and chest press (CP) reduce its utility. This study developed age- and sex-specific normative strength values for older individuals. LP and CP 1-repetition maximum (1RM) values on Keiser A420 pneumatic machines were compiled from 445 older adults, ages 60-85y. Descriptive statistics and quartile rankings are reported, and two-way ANOVAs were conducted to determine differences between sex and age groups. There were significant sex x age group interactions for LP and CP. Men were significantly stronger than women across all age groups for both exercises (p <.01); however, the mean difference decreased with age. For men, no differences were seen among the 60–64 (237 ± 39 kg), 65–69 (223 ± 43 kg) and 70–74 (219 ± 50 kg) age groups; but the 60–64 group showed higher strength values than the 75–79 group (193 ± 52 kg) and all three groups contained higher strength values than the 80–85 group (172 ± 40 kg). Similarly, for relative strength, the 60–64 group (2.80 ± 0.53 kg·kgBM) surpassed values for all groups but the 65–69, and the 65–69 (2.70 ± 0.54 kg·kgBM) produced greater strength values than the 70–74 (2.45 ± 0.47 kg·kgBM), 75–79 (2.09 ± 0.37 kg·kgBM) and 80–85 (2.19 ± 0.38 kg·kgBM) groups. In contrast, no significant differences in absolute or relative strength were seen among age groups for the women. Our study establishes absolute and relative age- and sex-specific normative values for the LP1RM and CP1RM in older individuals. These values allow practitioners and researchers to interpret the results of various interventions, and evaluate their importance to evaluation of sarcopenia, injury risk, functional mobility and quality of life. Additionally, our results reveal that age-related declines in strength are prominent for male LP and CP, but not female CP or LP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111401
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Jul 15 2021


  • Aging
  • Maximal strength
  • Resistance training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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