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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1986 Jan;7(1):38-42.

Circuit weight training in cardiac patients.


This was a prospective, randomized evaluation of the safety and efficacy of 10 weeks of circuit weight training in patients, aged 35 to 70 years, with documented coronary artery disease. Circuit weight training refers to the performance of a series of weight-lifting exercises using a moderate load with frequent repetitions. Patients had participated in a supervised cardiac rehabilitation program for a minimum of 3 months before the study. Control patients (n = 20) continued with their regular exercise consisting of a walk/jog and volleyball program, while the experimental group (n = 20) substituted circuit weight training for volleyball. No sustained arrhythmias or cardiovascular problems occurred. The experimental group significantly increased treadmill time from 619 to 694 seconds while the treadmill time of the control group did not change. Strength in the experimental group increased by an average of 24% while there was no change in the control patients. Circuit weight training appears to be safe, and to result in significant increases in aerobic endurance and musculoskeletal strength compared with traditional exercise used in cardiac rehabilitation programs.

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