Effects of high-intensity strength training on cardiovascular function

B. F. Hurley, D. R. Seals, A. A. Ehsani, L. J. Cartier, G. P. Dalsky, J. M. Hagberg, J. O. Holloszy

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Thirteen healthy, untrained males (age 44 ± 1 yr, range 40–55 yr) were studied to determine the effects of 16 wk of high-intensity, variable resistance, Nautilus strength training on cardiovascular function. A control group consisting of 10 untrained males (age 52 ± 2 yr, range 40–64 yr) underwent the same evaluation procedures as the training group. Maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max), cardiac output during submaximal exercise, and body composition were determined before and after training. In addition, the physiological responses to an acute training session were evaluated. Muscular strength increased markedly, as evidenced by a 44% average in crease in the “one-repetition maximum” in the various exercises. Body weight and percent body fat did not change with training, though fat-free weight did increase (66.9 ± 2.6 vs 68.8 ± 2.7 kg, P<0.05) significantly. Maximal oxygen uptake did not change significantly in either the training or the control group, and there were no changes in the hemodynamic responses to submaximal exercise after training. These findings indicate, therefore, that high-intensity, variable-resistance strength training produces no adaptative improvement in cardiovascular function. The physiological responses measured during a training session provide evidence that this lack of cardiovascular adaptation may be due to the low percentage of Vo2max elicited by this form of exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-488
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1984


  • Catecholamines
  • Hemodynamics
  • Nautilus training
  • VO


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