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Am J Cardiol. 1989 Oct 15;64(14):866-70.

Effects of high resistance training in coronary artery disease.

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  • 1Department of Physical Education, University of California, Davis.


Resistive activities for cardiac patients have traditionally been discouraged. The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of a 30 min/day, 3 day/week, 10-week strength training program in 9 stable, aerobically trained, male cardiac patients. The strength training program comprised lifting 80% of maximum voluntary contraction at 5 stations: quadriceps extension, bench press, standing biceps curl, hamstring curl and military press and performing 80% of the maximum number of sit-ups in 1 minute. Maximum voluntary contraction for each lift and body composition via body weight, hydrostatic weighing, skinfolds and girths were determined before and after training. The electrocardiogram was monitored during all maximum voluntary contraction lifts and heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were monitored during all activities. The only change in measures of body composition was an 11% increase in quadriceps girth (p less than 0.05). Maximum voluntary contraction increased 17, 12, 19, 53 and 46% for bench press, military press, standing biceps curl, quadriceps extension and hamstring curl, respectively (p less than 0.01), while the number of sit-ups performed in 1 minute increased 33% (p less than 0.05). No signs or symptoms of ischemia or abnormal heart rate or blood pressure responses were observed during the strength training program. Thus, resistive training at 80% of maximum voluntary contraction appears to be both safe and efficacious in stable, aerobically trained cardiac patients.

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