Postexercise Heart Rate Recovery Accelerates in Strength-Trained Athletes

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether postexercise HR recovery accelerates in strength-trained athletes.

Methods:

Subjects were young strength-trained athletes (ST; N = 12), endurance-trained athletes (ET; N = 12), and age-matched sedentary control men (C; N = 12). HR and oxygen uptake were measured during submaximal exercise (cycling exercise, 40% maximal oxygen uptake for 8 min) and 30 s after the exercise (the postexercise period).

Results:

Left ventricular end-diastolic dimension was higher in both types of athletes compared with C, but greater in ET than in ST (C, 4.3 ± 0.1 cm; ET, 5.0 ± 0.1 cm; ST, 4.8 ± 0.1 cm). Left ventricular average wall thickness was greater in ST in comparison with ET, although it was higher in both trained men compared with C (C, 0.85 ± 0.02 cm; ET, 0.90 ± 0.02 cm; ST, 1.00 ± 0.02 cm). The time constant of postexercise HR decay, an index of vagally mediated postexercise HR recovery, was lower in ST and ET compared with C (C, 94.4 ± 9.2 s; ET, 65.9 ± 4.3 s; ST, 69.1 ± 4.0 s). Oxygen pulse was greater in ST and ET than in C (C, 9.4 ± 0.6 mL per beat; ET, 13.0 ± 0.9 mL per beat; ST, 12.8 ± 0.4 mL per beat), and it results in increased oxygen debt for both types of athletes (C, 0.257 ± 0.024 L; ET, 0.343 ± 0.030 L; ST, 0.331 ± 0.017 L). We did not find significant differences in these indices between ST and ET.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that the HR recovery immediately after exercise is accelerated in both strength- and endurance-trained athletes.

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