Resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured in age-matched bodybuilders (n = 31) and medical students (n = 37). Also, systolic blood pressure and heart rate were assessed during progressive cycle ergometer exercise at 100-200 W. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures at rest and systolic blood pressure response during exercise were comparable in bodybuilders and students. Bodybuilders, however, displayed lower (p less than 0.01-0.001) heart rate at identical power outputs of exercise. Consequently, when considering intergroup differences in muscle mass, circulatory responses were similar in bodybuilders and students. The results of the present study together with other observations suggest that intense long-term strength training, as performed by bodybuilders, does not constitute a potential cardiovascular risk factor.