Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the acute effects of resistance exercise (RE) leading to failure and RE that was not to failure on 24 h blood pressure (BP) and heart rate variability (HRV) in sedentary normotensive adult women.
Methods: Ten women (33.2 ± 5.8 years; 159.3 ± 9.4 cm; 58.0 ±6.4 kg; body fat 28.4 ± 2.8%) randomly underwent three experimental sessions: control (40 minutes of seated rest), RE leading to failure with 3 sets of 10 repetitions maximum (10-RM), and RE not to failure at 60% of 10-RM with 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Immediately post session BP and HRV were measured for 24 h.
Results: Ratings of perceived exertion and heart rate were higher during the 10-RM session when compared with 60% of 10-RM (6.4 ± 0.5 vs 3.5 ± 0.8 and 123.7 ± 13.9 vs 104.5 ± 7.3 bpm, respectively). The systolic, diastolic and mean BP decreased at 07:00 a.m. after the 10-RM session when compared with the control session (-9.0 ± 7.8 mmHg, -16.0 ± 12.9 mmHg and -14.3 ± 11.2 mmHg, respectively). The root mean square of the squared differences between R-R intervals decreased after both the 60% of 10-RM and 10-RM sessions compared with the control session.
Conclusions: An acute RE session leading to failure induced a higher drop of BP upon awakening, while both RE sessions reduced cardiac parasympathetic modulation. RE may be an interesting training strategy to acutely decrease BP in adult women.