Effects of acute resistance exercise on arterial stiffness in young men

Korean Circ J. 2010 Jan;40(1):16-22. doi: 10.4070/kcj.2010.40.1.16. Epub 2010 Jan 27.


Background and objectives: Increased central arterial stiffness is an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Acute aerobic exercise reduces arterial stiffness, while acute resistance exercise may increase arterial stiffness, but this is not a universal finding. We tested whether an acute resistance exercise program was associated with an increase in arterial stiffness in healthy young men.

Subjects and methods: Thirteen healthy subjects were studied under parallel experimental conditions on 2 separate days. The order of experiments was randomized between resistance exercise (8 resistance exercises at 60% of 1 repeated maximal) and sham control (seated rest in the exercise room). Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and aortic augmentation index as indices of aortic stiffness were measured using applanation tonometry. Measurements were made at baseline before treatments, 20 minutes, and 40 minutes after treatments (resistance exercise and sham control).

Results: There was no difference in resting heart rate or in arterial stiffness between the two experimental conditions at baseline. At 20 minutes after resistance exercise, heart rate, carotid-femoral PWV and augmentation index@75(%) were significantly increased in the resistance exercise group compared with the sham control (p<0.05). Brachial blood pressure, central blood pressure and pulse pressure were not significantly increased after resistance exercise.

Conclusion: An acute resistance exercise program can increase arterial stiffness in young healthy men. Further studies are needed to clarify the effects of long-term resistance training on arterial stiffness.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness; Resistance training.