The effect of different intensity modalities of resistance training on beat-to-beat blood pressure in cardiac patients

Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2005 Feb;12(1):12-7.


Background: Resistance training has been introduced in cardiac rehabilitation to give more benefit than traditional training. Haemodynamic evaluation of cardiac patients to resistance training has generally consisted of continuous HR monitoring and discontinuous blood pressure measurements.

Design and methods: Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) responses to resistance training were evaluated using continuous monitoring (Finapres) during low (four sets of 17 repetitions at 40% of the one-repetition maximum strength [1-RM]) and high intensity resistance training (four sets of 10 repetitions at 70% of 1-RM) on a leg extension machine in 14 patients who participated in a rehabilitation programme. Work volume was identical in the low- and high-level resistance training.

Results: The HR and systolic blood pressure (SBP) during low intensity resistance training were always larger than during high intensity (P<0.001). Peak SBP increased from set 1 to set 3 and 4 during both low and high intensity resistance training (P<0.05). Peak HR was larger in set 4 (95+/-11 bpm) than in set 1 only during low intensity resistance training (91+/-12 bpm) (P<0.05). One-minute recovery periods did not allow a return to baseline HR and SBP during both low and high intensity modalities.

Conclusions: The SBP and HR responses to resistance training are related to the duration of exercise. Sets with < or =10 repetitions of high intensity should be preferred to longer sets with low intensity. Pauses between exercise sets should exceed 1 min. Blood pressure should be measured during the last repetitions of the exercise set.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angioplasty
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Coronary Artery Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / surgery
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Lifting*