High-Intensity Resistance Exercise Promotes Postexercise Hypotension Greater than Moderate Intensity and Affects Cardiac Autonomic Responses in Women Who Are Hypertensive

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de Freitas Brito, A, Brasileiro-Santos, MdS, Coutinho de Oliveira, CV, Sarmento da Nóbrega, TK, Lúcia de Moraes Forjaz, C, and da Cruz Santos, A. High-intensity resistance exercise promotes postexercise hypotension greater than moderate intensity and affects cardiac autonomic responses in women who are hypertensive. J Strength Cond Res 29(12): 3486–3493, 2015—The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of high-intensity resistance exercise (RE) sessions on blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), cardiac autonomic modulation, and forearm blood flow (FBF). Sixteen trained hypertensive women (n = 16, 56 ± 3 years) completed the following 3 experimental sessions: control (CS), RE at 50% (EX50%), and RE at 80% (EX80%) of 1 repetition maximum (1RM). Both EX50% and EX80% comprised a set of 10 repetitions of 10 exercises, with an interval of 90 seconds between exercises. Measurements were taken preintervention and postintervention (at 10, 30, 50, 70, and 90 minutes of recovery). Reductions in systolic/diastolic BP after exercise were greater in EX80% (largest declines, −29 ± 4/−14 ± 5 mm Hg) than EX50% (largest declines, −18 ± 6/−8 ± 5 mm Hg, p ≤ 0.05). Heart rate and cardiac sympathovagal balance (LF/HF) increased more in relation to pre-exercise values in EX80% than EX50% (largest increases 96 ± 3 vs. 90 ± 4 b·min−1, LF/HF = 1.77 ± 0.25 vs. 1.40 ± 0.20, respectively, p ≤ 0.05). Increases in FBF and hyperemia was also higher in EX80% than EX50% compared with pre-exercise (4.97 ± 0.28 vs. 4.36 ± 0.27 ml·min−1·100 ml−1 and 5.90 ± 0.20 vs. 5.38 ± 0.25 ml·min−1·100 ml−1; p ≤ 0.05, respectively). These results suggest that RE of higher intensity promoted greater postexercise hypotension accompanied by greater increases in FBF, vasodilator response, HR, and cardiac sympathovagal balance.

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