International journal of sports medicine vol:17 issue:6 pages:415-22
To examine the effect of long term strength training on heart rate and blood pressure, measured in different conditions, and on their variability, thirty healthy, previously sedentary men were randomized into a training and a control group. The strength training program consisted of 48 training sessions on a multigym apparatus at a frequency of 3 sessions each week, involving leg press, bench press, leg curl, shoulder press, leg extension and sit ups. The control group was asked not to change their sedentary lifestyle. In the subjects of the training group the load could be increased significantly for all exercises (p < 0.01). Heart rate and blood pressure were measured at rest in the supine and sitting position, during 24 hours with a non-invasive ambulatory device and during an exercise test on a cycloergometer. Repeated measures analysis of variance did not show an effect of strength training on heart rate or on blood pressure. In addition, power spectral analysis of the RR interval (ECG) and of the beat-to-beat blood pressure in the supine subject revealed similar total, low frequency and high frequency power before and after training, indicating that the neural control of both heart rate and blood pressure was not affected by a 16-week program of strength training.