BACKGROUND: whole body vibration (WBV) training appears to be an efficient alternative for conventional resistance training in older individuals. So far, no data exist about the vibratory effect on cardiorespiratory fitness. OBJECTIVES: this randomised controlled trial assessed the effects of 1-year WBV training on cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength in community-dwelling adults over the age of 60. METHODS: a total of 220 adults (mean age 67.1 years) were randomly assigned to a WBV group, fitness group or control group. The WBV group exercised on a vibration platform, and the fitness group performed cardiovascular, resistance, balance and stretching exercises. The control group did not participate in any training. Heart rate was measured during a single WBV session. Peak oxygen uptake (VO(2peak)) and time-to-peak exercise (TPE) were measured during progressive bicycle ergometry. Muscle strength was assessed by a dynamometer. RESULTS: heart rate increased significantly during WBV training. After 1 year, VO(2peak), TPE and muscle strength increased significantly in the WBV and fitness groups. Both training groups improved similarly in VO(2peak) and muscle strength. The fitness group improved significantly more in TPE than the WBV group. CONCLUSION: WBV training in community-dwelling elderly appears to be efficient to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength.