Resistance training to reduce blood pressure

Colored 10 lb weight

I always like a little good press for weight training.  I love the weight room at the gym, and much prefer it to time spent going nowhere on an elliptical trainer… unless, of course, an episode of Millionaire Matchmaker is on, in which case, I’ll take the elliptical, thank you.  I once spent two hours on the thing because there were back-to-back episodes!  But now I have a new reason to keep kicking it with the fraternity dudes around the weight benches:

Adding weight training to your exercise regime could reduce blood pressure better than aerobic activity.

In a recent study in the Journal of Exercise Physiology, 9 patients (5 men and 4 women) with Type 2 Diabetes either performed no exercise (control), 20 minutes of cycling at high capacity, or 3 circuits of resistance exercises, which required 21 minutes on average, at 70% of their maximum lifting capacity on those particular exercises.

Following the exercises, the group that performed the resistance circuits had significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (dbp), relative to the control group, while the aerobic group had non-significantly reduced dbp.

The authors conclude that resistance training could be a non-pharmacological addition to the control of Type 2 Diabetes. They also acknowledge that the short duration of the aerobic activity could be the reason this activity didn’t elicit a post-exercise reduction in dbp.

For the non-diabetics out there, it could be useful to remember that resistance training has health benefits are more often associated with aerobic activity in the public consciousness.

The resistance circuit was six exercises: knee extension, bench press, leg press, pull down, leg curl, and seated row. Subjects performed 8 repetitions of each exercise at 70% of the lifting capacity, with a 50-second interval between each exercise and one minute of rest between each lap. Subjects performed three laps of the circuit.

Image made available through Creative Commons, from Diamond Rubber

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2 Comments

Filed under Science!

2 responses to “Resistance training to reduce blood pressure

  1. Ah weight training, the absolute bane of my exercise existence and the hardest thing for me to stick with… I think I don’t like it because it doesn’t clear my head much or give me an endorphin high. Keep giving me reasons though maybe someday I’ll get better (you know because higher metabolism, less osteoporosis and healthier joints aren’t good enough).

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