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The effect of pre-seasonal strength training on central hemodynamics and cardiac function in elite powerlifting athletes

Authors Jürgenson J, Serg M, Kampus P, Kals J, Muda P, Zagura M, Viru M, Zilmer M, Eha J, Unt E

Received 17 December 2018

Accepted for publication 9 May 2019

Published 3 July 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 33—41

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRCC.S198590

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Kones


Janno Jürgenson,1,2 Martin Serg,3,4 Priit Kampus,3,4 Jaak Kals,4–6 Piibe Muda,7 Maksim Zagura,3,4 Mehis Viru,1 Mihkel Zilmer,4,6 Jaan Eha,3–4,7 Eve Unt2–3,8–9

1Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy, Medical Faculty, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; 2Estonian Centre of Behavioural and Health Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; 3Department of Cardiology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; 4Endothelial Centre, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; 5Department of Surgery, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; 6Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, Centre of Excellence for Genomics and Translational Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; 7Heart Clinic, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia; 8Department of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; 9Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia

Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a pre-seasonal 12-week supervised strength training program (SSTP) on arterial stiffness, brachial and central blood pressure, and systolic and diastolic function of the heart in elite powerlifting athletes.
Methods: A descriptive study was performed in 19 elite male powerlifters, who exercised for 12 weeks, four days per week with an intensity of 60–90% assessed from 1 repetition maximum and 90–120 min per session. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), augmentation index and central blood pressure were measured by applanation tonometry using the SphygmoCor device, and an echocardiographic examination was performed at baseline and after 12-week SSTP.
Results: Subjects’ mean brachial and central systolic blood pressure decreased significantly after the training period (132.3±8.8 vs 124.3±8.7 mmHg, p=0.002 and 110.1±7.7 vs 104.5±8.7 mmHg, p=0.008, respectively). Strength training significantly improved systolic tricuspid annular velocity and mitral E/e’ ratio (p<0.05). There were no significant differences in cfPWV and augmentation index at baseline and after SSTP.
Conclusion: The 12-week supervised strength pre-seasonal training program significantly decreased brachial and central systolic blood pressure in male elite powerlifting athletes. The strength training program decreased left ventricular filling pressure and improved right ventricular systolic function. No significant effect of strength training on aortic stiffness was found.

Keywords: pulse wave velocity, resistance training, cardiovascular health, echocardiography

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