Strength Training Reduces Resting Blood Pressure in 65 to 75 Year Old Men and Women

Link To Original Article

G.F. Martel, D.E. Hurlbut, M.E. Lott, J.T. Lemmer, F.M. Ivey, S.M. Roth, M.A. Rogers, FACSM, J.L. Fleg, B.F. Hurley, FACSM, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (Sponsor: B.F. Hurley, FACSM).


To determine the effects of heavy strength training on resting blood pressure in 65 to 75 year olds, researchers studied 11 men aged 67-71 years, and 10 women aged 65-71 years before and after six months of whole body strength training. Five sedentary middle-aged men served as inactive controls. Blood pressure measurements were taken on 6 separate days both before and after training in the strength training subjects and for 12 separate days in the controls. Keiser K-300 machines were used for both the strength training and for the one repetition maximum test.


Substantial increases in the one repetition maximum test were observed for upper and lower body muscle groups in strength training men and women. Systolic blood pressure was reduced significantly in men, but not in women. Diastolic blood pressure was reduced significantly following training in both men and women. No significant differences were seen in the control group for systolic or diastolic blood pressure.


These results indicate that strength training may lower diastolic resting blood pressure in 65-75 year old men and women, and systolic blood pressure in men. This has implications for helping control hypertension.

Keiser Equipment Used

Leg press, chest press, leg curl, leg extension, lat pull down, shoulder press, upper back, hip abductor, triceps and abdominal machines.

Published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1995, American College of Sports Medicine.

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