Effect of Short- And Long-Term Strength Exercise on Cardiac Oxidative Stress and Performance in Rat

J Physiol Biochem. 2012 Mar;68(1):121-8. doi: 10.1007/s13105-011-0125-z. Epub 2011 Nov 12.


Increase in heart metabolism during severe exercise facilitates production of ROS and result in oxidative stress. Due to shortage of information, the effect of chronic strength exercise on oxidative stress and contractile function of the heart was assessed to explore the threshold for oxidative stress in this kind of exercise training. Male Wistar rats (80) were divided into two test groups exercised 1 and 3 months and two control groups without exercise. Strength exercise was carried by wearing a Canvas Jacket with weights and forced rats to lift the weights. Rats were exercised at 70% of maximum lifted weight 6 days/week, four times/day, and 12 repetitions each time. Finally, the hearts of ten rats/group were homogenized and MDA, SOD, GPX, and catalase (CAT) were determined by ELISA method. In other ten rats/group, left ventricle systolic and end diastolic pressures (LVSP and LVEDP) and contractility indices (LVDP and +dp/dt max) and relaxation velocity (-dp/dt max) were recorded. The coronary outflow was collected. Short- and long-term strength exercise increased heart weight and heart/BW ratio (P < 0.05). In the 3-month exercise group, basal heart rate decreased (P < 0.05). LVEDP did not change but LVDP, +dp/dt max, -dp/dt max, and coronary flow significantly increased in both exercise groups (P < 0.05). None of MDA or SOD, GPX, and CAT significantly changed. The results showed that sub-maximal chronic strength exercise improves heart efficiency without increase in oxidative stress index or decrease in antioxidant defense capacity. These imply that long-time strength exercise up to this intensity is safe for cardiac health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Pressure
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Coronary Vessels / physiopathology
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Heart Ventricles / enzymology
  • Heart Ventricles / metabolism
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Myocardium / enzymology
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Organ Size
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Resistance Training / adverse effects*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Malondialdehyde
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase