Objectives: This study aimed to determine the effects of moderate resistance training as well as the combined resistance and aerobic training intervention on carotid arterial compliance.
Background: Resistance training has become a popular mode of exercise, but intense weight training is shown to stiffen carotid arteries.
Methods: Thirty-nine young healthy men were assigned either to the moderate-intensity resistance training (MODE), the combined resistance training and endurance training (COMBO) or the sedentary control (CONTROL) groups. Participants in the training groups underwent three training sessions per week for 4 months followed by four additional months of detraining.
Results: All training groups increased maximal strength in all the muscle groups tested (P < 0.05). Carotid arterial compliance (via simultaneous carotid ultrasound and applanation tonometry) decreased approximately 20% after MODE training (from 0.20 +/- 0.01 to 0.16 +/- 0.01 mm2/mmHg, P < 0.01). No significant changes in carotid arterial compliance were observed in the COMBO (0.20 +/- 0.01 to 0.23 +/- 0.01 mm2/mmHg) and CONTROL (0.20 +/- 0.01 to 0.20 +/- 0.01 mm2/mmHg) groups. Following the detraining period, carotid arterial compliance returned to the baseline level. Peripheral (femoral) artery compliance did not change in any groups.
Conclusions: We concluded that simultaneously performed aerobic exercise training could prevent the stiffening of carotid arteries caused by resistance training in young healthy men.