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"Medicina Sportiva" No.14 - 2008 The 15-th Sports Medicine Balkan Congress


Dusan Hamar
Department of Sports Medicine, Institute of Sports Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia

Though aerobic activities have become an integral part of preventive medicine, attitude of medical community to the resistance exercise has been rather cautious. This applies namely to its utilization in middle aged and elderly population. The main concern was an augmented cardiovascular risk due to pronounced blood pressure response to strength exercise. However, evidence accumulated over the last decade has shown that blood pressure reaches dangerously high values only under special cirumstancies. These include resistance exercise performed with extreme weights, i.e. those close to 1RM, lifted by large muscle groups under involvement of Valsalva manoeuvre necessary to stabilize torso providing a firm base for contracting muscles. On the other hand, pressure response to resistance exercise performed with moderate weights (up to 70 % of 1RM) and avoiding Valsalva manoeuvres, does not differ substantially from the one occuring during common forms of aerobic exercise. Slightly more pronounced increase of diastolic pressure is considered as a positive response fostering coronary perfusion taking place in diastolic phase of a heart cycle. There is enough evidence that regular resistance training performed at even moderate intensities, i.e. with weight around 70  of % 1RM not only increases strength and power, but also positively affects lean body mass, resting metabolic rate, bone mineral density, insuline resistance and proprioceptive functions. These adaptation changes can be of preventive as well as therapeutic value in diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthrosis, and osteoporosis. One can conclude that there is enough evidence to consider resistance exercise as safe and effective means, which can potentiate health promoting effect of aerobic activities even in middle aged and elderly population.

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