Impact of high- and low-intensity resistance training on arterial stiffness and blood pressure in adults across the lifespan: a review

Arturo Figueroa, Takanobu Okamoto, Salvador J. Jaime, Christopher A. Fahs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Resistance training (RT) is performed for improvements in body composition in young healthy adults and for health benefits in middle-aged and older adults. Traditionally, RT is prescribed at moderate- to high-intensity to promote benefits on skeletal muscle mass and strength in middle-aged and older adults without considering the vascular effects. Recent evidence suggests that muscle strength may be more protective than muscle mass for cardiovascular disease prevention and that muscle strength can be importantly improved with low-intensity RT. The main purpose of this review was to examine the effects of RT intensity on arterial stiffness and blood pressure (peripheral and central) in young and older adults. Although small increases in central arterial stiffness (carotid β and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity [PWV]) have been reported in young and middle-aged men, this review suggests that low- and high-intensity RT may not affect arterial stiffness whereas low-intensity RT may decrease systemic arterial stiffness (brachial-ankle PWV) in young healthy adults or not affect arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults. Independently of the intensity, RT may be effective to reduce blood pressure (peripheral and central) in middle-aged and older adults with at least elevated blood pressure at baseline. Further studies are needed to examine the impact of RT on arterial stiffness, central blood pressure, and wave reflection in middle-aged and older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-478
Number of pages12
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Volume471
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 7 2019

Keywords

  • Arterial stiffness
  • Blood pressure
  • Intensity
  • Resistance training

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