n International SportMed Journal - Blood pressure and heart rate variability responses after isolated and combined sessions of aerobic and strength exercises : original research article




Few studies have investigated the effect of exercise order on post-exercise hypotension and heart rate variability (HRV).

The purpose of this study was to investigate the behaviour of blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and HRV after an aerobic training session (ATS), strength training session (STS), combined aerobic and strength training session (ASTS) and in the opposite order (SATS).
Acute effect study.
Ten men (age 24.5 ± 1.1 years, weight 77.0 ± 3.7 kg, height 1.76 ± 0.8 cm) with previous experience in aerobic and strength training volunteered for this study. STS was performed using eight exercises (with 60% 1RM) and each ATS was performed on a cycle ergometer (60% VO peak, 50 min). BP, HR and HRV were measured at rest and for one hour following exercise.
The results demonstrated reductions in systolic BP after ASTS and SATS when compared to the control group (CON) (p <0.05), ATS (p <0.01) and STS (p <0.05). On the other hand, HR was elevated after STS (p <0.01), ASTS (p <0.01) and SATS (p <0.05) when compared to the CON group. The HR increase was accompanied by changes in HRV after sessions of STS (p <0.01), ASTS (p <0.01) and SATS (p <0.01) compared to the CON group.
Combined sessions of aerobic and strength training with moderate intensity can elicit a hypotensive response in normotensive men independent of session order. Therefore strength and conditioning professionals can prescribe these exercises using different orders if the objective of the training session is to control blood pressure.


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