ExerciseHeart Disease

Limits to the benefits of resistance training in heart disease

Researchers at the Center for Cardiovascular Rehabilitation, in Bad Schallerbach, Austria, compared 2 levels of resistance training combined with aerobic training in patients participating in cardiac rehabilitation.

First, the details.

  • 295 older adults were randomly divided into 2 groups.
    • Group 1: Resistance training; 2 sets × 12 repetitions per session 2 times per week
    • Group 2: Resistance training; 3 sets × 15 repetitions
  • A resistance training session consisted of 10 different resistance exercises.
  • Patients also completed continuous moderate intensity aerobic training composed of cycle ergometry 6 times per week for 17 minutes and walking 5 times per week for 45 minutes.
  • Blood pressure, heart rate, maximal oxygen consumption, and maximal power determined during cycle ergometry, strength determined via resistance training, and blood biochemistries were assessed.

And, the results.

  • Statistical analysis revealed equivalent improvements in exercise capacity, muscular strength, hemodynamics, and blood chemistries regardless of resistance training volume.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Nearly doubling (3 sets × 15 repetitions vs 2 sets × 12 repetitions) the volume of resistance training as part of a residential cardiac rehabilitation program does not yield further improvement in strength and cardiovascular risk factors.”

9/12/11 20:45 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.