Acute effect of resistance exercise intensity in cardiac autonomic modulation after exercise

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2011 Jun;96(6):498-503. doi: 10.1590/s0066-782x2011005000043. Epub 2011 Apr 15.
[Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish]


Background: Cardiac sympathovagal balance is altered after resistance exercise. However, the impact of the characteristics of resistance training in this response remains unclear.

Objective: Analyze the acute effect of resistance exercise intensity for trunk and upper limbs in cardiac autonomic modulation after exercise.

Methods: Fifteen young men performed three experimental sessions in random order: control (C), resistance exercise with 50% of 1-RM (E50%) and resistance exercise with 70% of 1-RM (E70%). The sessions included 05 exercises for the trunk and upper limbs performed in three sets of 12, 9 and 6 repetitions, respectively. Before and at 20 and 50 minutes after the interventions, the heart rate was measured for spectral analysis of variability.

Results: In comparison to the values before the intervention, the RR interval and the band of high frequency (HF) increased (major changes: + 112 ± 83 ms; +10 ± 11 un, respectively, p < 0.01), while the low frequency band (LF) and LF/HF ratio decreased (major changes: -10 ± 11 pc; -2 ± 2, respectively, p < 0.01) after the session C. None of these variables changed significantly after the E50% session (p > 0.05). Compared to pre-exercise values, the RR interval and the HF band decreased (major changes: -69 ± 105 ms; -13 ± 14 un, respectively, p <0.01), while the LF band and the LF/HF ratio increased (major changes: -13 ± 14 un, 13 ± 3 14 ± 3 and un, respectively, p <0.01) after E70%.

Conclusion: The higher intensity of resistance exercise for trunk and upper limbs promoted, in an acute manner, greater increase in cardiac sympathovagal balance after exercise.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Resistance Training* / adverse effects
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Upper Extremity / physiology
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*
  • Young Adult