n Cardiovascular Journal of South Africa - Effect of resistance training on cardiorespiratory endurance and coronary artery disease risk : cardiovascular topics

Volume 16, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1680-0745



Coronary artery disease (CAD) represents a major medical problem in Western society and is a considerable cause of morbidity and mortality in South Africa. In recent years, epidemiologists have made extensive efforts to define the most common risk factors for CAD and propose preventative measures to limit the spread of the disease. Despite the increasing realisation of the importance of resistance training, the literature has focused primarily on aerobic modes of exercise and their effects on risk for CAD. The aim of this study was to determine whether resistance training could alter cardio-respiratory endurance (VO), and thus reduce CAD risk.

A quantitative, experimental, comparative research design incorporating a pre-test, a treatment period and a post-test was used. Twenty-eight untrained male volunteers were age matched (mean age: 28 years and seven months) and randomly assigned to either a non-exercising control group ( = 15) or a resistance-training group ( = 13). The study demonstrated no statistically significant change in VO for the control group from their pre-test (25.097 ml/kg/min) to their post-test (23.778 ml/kg/min) ( = 0.201). However, resistance training significantly ( ≤ 0.01) increased the VO from 26.674 ml/kg/min to 30.981 ml/kg/min ( = 0.004). Additionally, the difference between the pre- and post-test of the control and training group, respectively, demonstrated that the control group's mean VO was significantly lower than that of the resistance-training group ( = 0.001).
Although not all studies have demonstrated significant increases in VO following resistance training, the results of this study showed that eight weeks of resistance training were sufficient to result in a significant improvement in VO. This suggests that an exercise programme that includes resistance training results in a composite of physical and physiological improvements necessary to impact favourably on risk for CAD.

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