Resistance training for patients with chronic heart failure

Ryan, Toni Maree (1997) Resistance training for patients with chronic heart failure. Research Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


Chronic heart failure (CHF) patients are limited in functional capacity by muscle fatigue and breathlessness. The effects of resistance training on muscle strength and endurance and functional aerobic capacity were evaluated in 9 men (63 ± 11 years; mean ± s.d) with CHF (LVEF 26 ± 6%). Training comprised bilateral upper and lower body resistance exercises for 3 sessions per week for 11 weeks on hydraulic equipment. Before and after training, patients underwent assessment of strength and endurance (Merac isokinetic system), functional 6-minute walk and peak aerobic (V02peak) capacity. Basal forearm blood flow was measured using strain gauge venous occlusion plethysmography. Vagal tone was assessed using heart rate variability. No medical complications arose during training or testing sessions. There were increases in upper body strength (42 ± 8; P = 0.037) and increases in lower body strength (22 ± 9%, P = 0.044) and endurance (17 ± 11 % n.s). There were no significant changes in the average distance walked in six minutes (pre-training: 454 ±21 meters; post -training; 475 metres) or VO2peak (pre-training; 17.3 ± 1.6 ml/kg -min -1; post-training; 17.3 = 1.4 ml/kg -1 min -1). However, oxygen consumption for the full range of subinaximal workloads decreased by an average of 7% (P<0.0001, t-tailed t-test) and minute ventilation also fell by an average of 6% (P=0.007). Responsiveness to vasodilator stimuli was not altered. Baroreflex sensitivity increased non-significantly. A favourable trend in autonomic status and vascular tone was observed. Thus resistance training in CHF patients increased muscle strength and endurance while reducing the demand for oxygen and ventilation at submaximal workloads. This might allow safer and easier performance of usual daily activities by CHF patients. Further research is needed to verify these preliminary data.

Additional Information

M. App. Sc.

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1116 Medical Physiology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Keywords Heart failure, therapy, training, isometric exercise
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