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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Nov;32(11):1845-8.

Cardiovascular tolerance of healthy elderly subjects to weight-lifting exercises.

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Department of Physiology, Nice Medical School, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France.



To evaluate the hemodynamic strain and the myocardial tolerance of weight-lifting exercises in healthy elderly subjects.


Sixty-five healthy elderly subjects (32 men/33 women) aged 65-80, were studied. Weight-lifting exercises consisted of two sets of 12 repetitions at 12-repetition maximum (RM) and four sets of five repetitions at 5-RM for, horizontal leg press, seated chest press, and bilateral leg extension movements. Cardiovascular tolerance to weight-lifting exercises was evaluated both physiologically and biologically by measuring heart rate (HR) and blood pressures continuously during exercise, and cardiac troponin I (cTnI) blood concentration before and 6 h postexercise. Comparisons between resting and exercise or postexercise values were performed by a bilateral-paired t-test. A value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


No significant increase in cTnI circulating concentration was observed secondary to exercise (16.56+/-2.23 vs 14.40+/-1.96 ng x L(-1); mean +/- SEM). This was observed despite a significant (P < 0.001) exercise-induced increase in systolic (SAP) and diastolic arterial pressures (DAP) and HR. Highest values of SAP, DAP, and HR (223.6+/-3.1 mm Hg, 139.6+/-1.9 mm Hg, and 108+/-2 min(-1), respectively) were measured during the horizontal leg press exercise.


These data suggest that weight-lifting exercises can be conducted in healthy elderly subjects without clinical, electrical, and biological sign of myocardial ischemia, if appropriate selection criteria, and proper respiratory techniques during exercise are applied.

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