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Long-term intense resistance training in men is associated with preserved cardiac structure/function, decreased aortic stiffness, and lower central augmentation pressure

Morra, Elis A.a; Zaniqueli, Divaneib; Rodrigues, Sérgio L.b; El-Aouar, Lilia M.b; Lunz, Wellingtona; Mill, José G.b; Carletti, Lucianaa

Journal of Hypertension:
doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000035

Objective: There have been contradictory reports regarding resistance exercise and central arterial compliance. The American Heart Association has recommended its use in preventing/treating cardiovascular diseases. We examined the effects of long-term endurance running and intense resistance training on central hemodynamics, compared with healthy control (CON).

Methods: Sixty-nine male participants, 25–50 years [19 intense resistance trained (IRT) group, 21 endurance runners, and 29 CON] were investigated by radial tonometry-pulse wave analysis, pulse wave velocity (PWV), and echocardiogram. Data were expressed as mean ± SE (median). Differences were tested by analysis of variance and analysis of covariance was used to adjust for confounding variables.

Results: There were no differences among groups regarding age, height (Ht), brachial and central blood pressure. Resting heart rate (HR) was lower and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) higher in endurance runners. Weight, peripheral pulse pressure, and pulse pressure amplification were higher and HDL-C lower in the IRT group. Left ventricular mass and creatine phosphokinase were higher in trained participants. Relative wall thickness was similar among groups. The ratio of the velocity of peak E and A waves (E/A) was higher and PWV significantly lower in endurance runners (7.2 ± 0.14 m/s) and IRT (7.5 ± 0.14 m/s) as compared with CON (8.2 ± 0.16 m/s) even after adjustments for age, Ht, HR and mean arterial pressure (MAP), or mean systolic pressure. Differences in central augmentation pressure (cAP) adjusted for age, height, systolic or MAP, PWV, and HR (IRT equal to 0.08 ± 0.9, CON equal to 3.4 ± 0.9 and endurance running equal to 3.6 ± 1) were no longer significant after further adjustments to aortic diameter or weight.

Conclusion: Long-term resistance training in men is associated with preserved cardiac structure/function, decreased aortic stiffness, and lower cAP.

Author Information

aPhysical Education and Sports Centre

bDepartment of Physiological Sciences, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, ES, Brazil

Correspondence to Sérgio L. Rodrigues, MD, PhD, Department of Physiological Sciences, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Av Marechal Campos 1468, Maruípe, Vitória 29042-755, ES, Brazil. Tel: +55 2733357335; fax: +55 2733357330; e-mail:

Abbreviations: BSA, body surface area; cAP, central augmentation pressure; cDP, central diastolic pressure; CON, control group; CPK, creatine phosphokinase; cPP, central pulse pressure; cSP, central systolic pressure; E/A ratio, ratio of the velocity of peak E and A waves; ER, endurance runner group; HDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; HR, heart rate; Ht, height; IRT, intense resistance trained group; LVM, left ventricular mass; PWV, pulse wave velocity; T1, time of the arrival of the reflected wave; Trw, time to return of the reflected wave; VO2max, maximal capacity of oxygen consumption

Received 13 June, 2013

Revised 30 September, 2013

Accepted 30 September, 2013

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins