Hailey Draxler1, Jamie Hebel1, Sophie Peters1, Allison Russell1, Madeline Willi1, Nicholas M. Beltz1. Dose Response Impact of Resistance Training on Arterial Stiffness. 1Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI, USA.


Introduction: Arterial stiffness, the decrease in elasticity of the arteries, is a strong indicator of future health issues related to cardiovascular diseases but can often be decreased with physical activity. There is limited research on the dose response relationship between the volume of resistance training and arterial stiffness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and assess the dose effect of total weekly load volumes on arterial health over a four-week time span. Methods: Twenty-two college-aged male (n=9) and female (n=13) participants (20.4 + 2.0 years) were separated into three resistance training (RT) groups (one-, two-, and three-days/wk) and completed a 4-week resistance training intervention. The program consisted of seven machine-based and one free-weight resistance training exercises, with each exercise session lasting 30-45 minutes. Arterial stiffness and segmental lean body mass were measured prior to and after completing the RT intervention. Arterial stiffness was measured using pulse wave analysis and represented by augmentation index standardized to a heart rate 75 bpm (AIx75). Segmental lean body mass was obtained using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Results: After adjusting for pre-AIx75, there were no significant differences in post-AIx75 between groups (p = .906). There were no differences in pre-post AIx75 controlling for changes in upper body lean body mass (p= .222) or lower body mass (p=.226). However, a trend demonstrated an overall negative impact on arterial stiffness for the one-day (6.5 ± 14.8%) and two-day (7.6 ± 17.4%) groups but a positive impact on arterial stiffness for the three-day group (-4.6 ± 13.9%). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that an acute resistance-training program does not have a significant impact on arterial stiffness; regardless of gender. However, a trend was observed indicating a positive impact on arterial stiffness for the three-day group. Professionals prescribing RT programs should prescribe them based on their professional opinion rather than any benefits for arterial health, as there is no noticeable impact of RT.