Effect of Resistance Training on Blood Pressure and Autonomic Responses in Treated Hypertensives

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Trevizani, GA, Seixas, MB, Benchimol-Barbosa, PR, Vianna, JM, da Silva, LP, and Nadal, J. Effect of resistance training on blood pressure and autonomic responses in treated hypertensives. J Strength Cond Res 32(5): 1462–1470, 2018—This study evaluated the effect of resistance training (RT) on heart rate variability (HRV) and on blood pressure (BP) responses to acute and short-term exposure in treated hypertensive (HT) subjects. Twenty-one men participated in the study, 8 HT under drug treatment regimen and achieving adequate BP control before inclusion and 13 normotensive (NT). The RT protocol consisted of 12 sessions with eight exercises (leg extension, leg press, leg curl, bench press, seated row, triceps push-down, seated calf flexion, and seated arm curl) performed for two sets of 15–20 repetitions with 50% of one repetition maximum with 2-minute rest intervals in between sets, 3×/week. Heartbeat measurements were taken before and after RT, and BP was measured at the beginning and at the end of each session after 10-minute rest. The repeated measures analysis of variance (effect: group vs. training) evaluated BP and HRV responses. Effect size (ES) calculation measured the magnitude of the RT effect on these variables. There was a statistically significant reduction in postexercise systolic BP in both groups (p = 0.040), without significant change in resting BP along RT (p = 0.159). Regarding HRV, it was observed a reduced sympathetic-vagal balance (training interaction vs. group: p = 0.058, ES = −0.83) in HT subjects. Resistance training promotes a significant acute reduction of BP in the HT and NT groups and provides a slight benefit of cardiac autonomic balance in the HT.

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