Here’s an old article for you – “Mixed-methods resistance training increases power and strength of young and older men” by Robert Newton and a bunch of other folks.
The ability to generate power is the main muscular capacity that adults lose as they age (I would argue that all “strength” is actually different expressions of “power,” but that’s another issue).
These researchers built a very simple and effective power-building program, and I want to share it with you:
“Each training session included the squat, knee extension, and knee flexion exercises on machines; trunk extension and trunk flexion exercises using free weights; and/or bench press or calf raise exercises on machines. During each week, the day’s training protocols…were broken down into a ‘hypertrophy day,’ a ‘strength day,’ and a ‘power day.’ For the hypertrophy session of the week, the subjects performed sets of 8-10 RM [repetition-maximum] with 1-min rest periods. This format of resistance training has been demonstrated to elicit a large response by the endocrine system and is hypothesized to provide a greater stimulus to increasing muscle size. The strength session concentrated on high-intensity resistance training using sets of 3-5 RM. Performing sets of low numbers of repetitions and using a resistance close to the subject’s 1 RM has been shown to produce gains in maximal strength. The third training session of the week was designed to specifically increase maximal power output. For this session, the subjects performed the squat and the knee extension exercises with lower loads, but for these exercises the subjects were instructed to complete the concentric phase of the movement ‘as fast and powerful as possible’ for 6-8 reps per set. All the exercises were performed using concentric muscle actions [shortening the muscle] followed by eccentric [lengthening] actions performed in a controlled manner during the ‘lowering’ phase of the movement. Each session the subjects performed 3-6 sets of each exercise. The volume of training [sets x reps] progressively increased throughout the 10-wk of training…During the 10-wk training period, the subjects continued taking part in physical activities, such as waling, jogging, or biking, one to two per week in a similar manner to what they were accustomed to before this experiment” (pg. 1369).
For those familiar with a “Westside-style” Powerlifting program, this is roughly similar to that.
If you were going to do this sort of program, here are the exercises I’d recommend:
Hypertrophy Day and Strength Day (increasing the resistance)
Squats (weighted or bodyweight)
Pullups (assisted or not)
Pushups or Bench Press
Glute-ham raises (assisted)
Hanging knee raises
Medicine Ball Squat-Throws
Medicine Ball Chest-Passes
Medicine Ball Side-Throws