Six adolescents with persistent essential hypertension were examined to determine the effect of weight training on their blood pressure and hemodynamics. Five had first completed an endurance training program; one subject trained only by weight lifting. All subjects were reevaluated after 5 +/- 2 months of weight training, and 12 +/- 2 months after cessation of training. Endurance training resulted in an increase in VO2max and decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. After weight training, VO2max had decreased to the level found prior to endurance training, and body weight was significantly increased. Systolic blood pressure after weight training was 17 +/- 4 mm Hg lower than when measured initially (P less than 0.01). Weight training maintained the reduction in diastolic pressure elicited by endurance exercise in those who initially had diastolic hypertension. Cessation of all forms of training resulted in no change in body weight, body fat, or VO2max from the values measured after weight training. Systolic pressure increased significantly with the cessation of training to a value not different from that measured initially. Diastolic pressure also increased after cessation of training, but was still below the initial value. The only significant hemodynamic change found was a reduction in systemic vascular resistance in response to weight training. Weight training in hypertensive adolescents appears to maintain the reductions in blood pressure achieved by endurance training, and may even elicit further reductions in blood pressure.