Effect of whole body resistance training on arterial compliance in young men


Corresponding author M. MacDonald: Department of Kinesiology, Ivor Wynne Centre, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1.  Email: macdonmj@mcmaster.ca


The effect of resistance training on arterial stiffening is controversial. We tested the hypothesis that resistance training would not alter central arterial compliance. Young healthy men (age, 23 ± 3.9 (mean ±s.e.m.) years; n= 28,) were whole-body resistance trained five times a week for 12 weeks, using a rotating 3-day split-body routine. Resting brachial blood pressure (BP), carotid pulse pressure, carotid cross-sectional compliance (CSC), carotid initima–media thickness (IMT) and left ventricular dimensions were evaluated before beginning exercise (PRE), after 6 weeks of exercise (MID) and at the end of 12 weeks of exercise (POST). CSC was measured using the pressure-sonography method. Results indicate reductions in brachial (61.1 ± 1.4 versus 57.6 ± 1.2 mmHg; P < 0.01) and carotid pulse pressure (52.2 ± 1.9 versus 46.8 ± 2.0 mmHg; P < 0.01) PRE to POST. In contrast, carotid CSC, β-stiffness index, IMT and cardiac dimensions were unchanged. In young men, central arterial compliance is unaltered with 12 weeks of resistance training and the mechanisms responsible for cardiac hypertrophy and reduced arterial compliance are either not inherent to all resistance-training programmes or may require a prolonged stimulus.