Effects of high intensity resistance training on arterial stiffness and wave reflection in women

Miriam Y. Cortez-Cooper, Allison E. DeVan, Maria M. Anton, Roger P. Farrar, Kimberly A. Beckwith, Janice S. Todd, Hirofumi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Background: Cross-sectional studies reported that chronic resistance training is associated with arterial stiffening in men. These findings are in marked contrast to those found with aerobic exercise and may have important clinical relevance with regard to cardiovascular disease risk. However, the effect of resistance training on arterial stiffness has not been confirmed by interventional studies nor has this relation been investigated in women. Methods: To determine whether a strength training program increases regional and central arterial stiffness in women, 23 healthy young women (29 ± 1 years; mean ± SD) participated in a high-intensity strength and power training program for 11 weeks. Ten other women (27 ± 2 years) served as time controls. Results: In the intervention group, one repetition maximal strength increased 12% to 17% (P < .0001), and leg fat-free mass (via DEXA) increased significantly. Brachial blood pressure (BP) and fasting plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations did not change across the 11 weeks. Carotid augmentation index, a measure of arterial wave reflection and arterial stiffness, increased from -8% ± 13% to 1% ± 18% (P < .05), and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity increased (791 ± 88 v 833 ± 96 cm/sec; P < .05). There were no changes in femoral-ankle pulse wave velocity, a segmental measure of peripheral arterial stiffness. Conclusions: We concluded that a high-intensity resistance training program increases arterial stiffness and wave reflection in young healthy women. Our present interventional results are consistent with the previous cross-sectional studies in men in which high-intensity strength training is associated with arterial stiffening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)930-934
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Arterial compliance
  • C-reactive protein
  • Exercise
  • Strength training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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