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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2000 Aug;10(4):211-5.

The effect of heart rate controlled low resistance circuit weight training and endurance training on maximal aerobic power in sedentary adults.

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Department of Public Health Science and General Practise, University of Oulu, Finland.


The effects of a 12-week low resistance circuit weight training (CWT) on cardiovascular and muscular fitness were studied in 90 healthy sedentary adults. The subjects were randomized into three equally fit groups: CWT, Endurance (END) and Control (CON) according to their maximal aerobic power (VO2max). Both training groups exercised for 12 weeks, 3 days a week in sessions of 40 min, with a heart rate (HR) level of 70-80% HRmax. The CWT group trained with air resistance machines. Heart rate was controlled by setting the speed of movement. The END group walked, jogged, cross-country skied or cycled. The net differences (between pre- and posttraining changes) between the CWT and CON groups was statistically significant for VO2max (2.45 ml x min(-1) x kg(-1), 95% CI 1.1; 3.8), for abdominal muscles (3.7 reps, CI 0.3; 7.1), for push-ups (1.1 reps, CI 0.2; 2.1), and for kneeling (2.25 reps, CI 0.01; 4.5). The net difference (between pre- and posttraining changes) in the END and CON groups was statistically significant for VO2max (2.75 ml(-1) x min(-1) x kg(-1), 95% CI 0.9; 4.6), and kneeling (3.0 reps, CI 0.7; 5.3). Low resistance CWT with moderately hard HR level has effects comparable to an equal amount of endurance training on the cardiovascular fitness of sedentary adults. The CWT model was benefical also on muscular fitness. Based on the results, this type of exercise can be recommended for beginners because of its multilevel effects.

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