Background: Resistance training has been introduced into rehabilitation to improve the efficiency of the 1980s traditional training. Among the modalities, the choice of recovery period length or repetition speed is hardly explained in term of functional benefit but not in terms of cardiovascular (CV) response. To our knowledge, no investigation has been made on the acute CV effect of repetition speed and rest periods between sets of such training during rehabilitation.
Design and methods: Our population included 17 male coronary patients. The experiment was performed on a leg extension device. A task force monitor noninvasive measurement system was used for continuous monitoring of the heart rate, systolic blood pressure and cardiac output. To evaluate the impact of the speed of contraction, individuals performed randomly, 3 x 10 repetitions (75% resistance maximum) at slow, moderate or fast pace. To evaluate the effect of the recovery period, individuals performed randomly, 3 x 10 repetitions separated by 30, 60, 90 or 120 s.
Results: We observed a progressive drift of heart rate, systolic blood pressure and cardiac output between each rest period and sets for all the modalities. These drifts were more pronounced when the rhythm of contraction was slow or when the recovery period was short (30 or 60 s).
Conclusion: This work confirms the results of an earlier study showing that the main factor affecting the CV response is the length of the set. The 'ideal modality' should be three sets of 10 repetitions, at 75% resistance maximum, fast executed, with a 90 s recovery period between successive sets.