Resistance Training and the Cardiorespiratory Response

by Ryan Halvorson on Apr 12, 2017

Making News

We know that resistance training improves strength, but can it also challenge the cardiorespiratory system? In a study published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2017; 31[3], 644—52), researchers analyzed the effects of three exercises performed three different ways, to determine the cardiorespiratory response to each.

In this study, 15 trained men performed 3 sets of 10 repetitions of biceps curls, barbell rows and knee extensions at 80% of 10–repetition maximum. The exercises were executed in bilateral, unilateral and alternating limb patterns with a 2–minute rest between sets. Heart rate and blood pressure were measured after the last repetition in each set.

As the researchers expected, increases in oxygen demand (RPP), blood pressure and heart rate were observed from pre– to postexercise in all conditions. But one exercise and format edged out the competition.

"Bilateral biceps curls caused a greater increase in RPP (first and second sets) and HR, compared with the same exercise performed unilaterally," the authors said. "Furthermore, the performance of bilateral biceps curls induced greater HR and RPP, in all sets, compared with bilateral knee extension and barbell rows."

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About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.