|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
Developing adequate levels of muscular strength in the cardiac rehabilitation (CR) patient helps return the patient to an active lifestyle. This study evaluated the effects and safety of an 8-week high-intensity strength training (ST) program combined with a traditional aerobic-based CR program on the muscular strength of a diverse phase II CR population.Sixty-one phase II CR patients (age = 60.5 ± 10.6 years) stratified by risk (high risk: n = 18, ejection fraction = 23.6 ± 7.8%; intermediate risk: n = 19, ejection fraction = 40.0 ± 4.6%; low risk: n = 24, ejection fraction = 58.0 ± 7.7%) and gender (males = 46, females = 15) participated. One repetition maximum (1RM) testing was performed on the horizontal squat, shoulder press, leg extension, lat pulldown, and biceps curl. Patients performed two sets of each exercise 2 days per week at an intensity that started at 60% 1RM and progressed to 80% 1RM by week 4. Weeks 4 to 8 intensity was adjusted individually to maintain 8RM per set. Blood pressure and heart rate/rhythm responses to 1RM testing were monitored in high-risk patients. Muscle soreness and injury were monitored for all patients immediately after 1RM testing and on days 2 and 7.All patient groups made significant gains (P < 0.05) in muscle strength (mean increase: lower body = 15.3%, upper body = 16.7%). No injury or significant muscle soreness occurred due to 1RM testing. No abnormal heart rate/rhythm or blood pressure responses occurred in high-risk patients.Diverse phase II CR patients can improve their strength significantly with a combination of high-intensity strength and aerobic training.