Journal of Trainology



August 2018; Vol. 7, No. 2: Pages 21-23

The cardiovascular adaptations to repeated "Strength Snacks"

Samuel L Buckner, Scott J. Dankel, Kevin T. Mattocks, Matthew B. Jessee, J Grant Mouser, Jeremy P. Loenneke


A training program consisting of working up to a one-repetition maximum (1RM) results in similar strength adaptations as traditional resistance exercise, while also decreasing the volume of work necessary to achieve this outcome. However, little is known regarding the cardiovascular adaptations to this type of training. Objective: To examine chronic changes in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as forearm and calf vascular conductance to either a traditional resistance exercise program or a bi-weekly 1RM-training program and. Design and Methods: Participants trained for 8 weeks (2x/week) on the knee extension and chest press exercises. The HYPER group completed 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions; the 1RM group (TEST) worked up to a single maximal rep. Results: Age [HYPER: 21 (SD 3) vs. TEST: 22 (SD 4) years], height [HYPER: 169.3 (SD 8.4) vs. TEST: 173.5 (SD 8.5) cm], and body mass HYPER: 79.3 (SD 22.6) vs. TEST: 70.4 (SD 14.4) kg]. There were no between group differences for changes in systolic [1 (-3, 5) mmHg, p=0.586] or diastolic blood pressure [1 (-3, 4) mmHg, p=0.775]. For heart rate, there were between group differences [6 (1, 11) bpm, p=0.025], with the TEST group having a greater reduction than the HYPER group. There were no differences in changes in forearm or calf conductance. Conclusion: HYPER and TEST training elicited similar cardiovascular adaptations. Thus, 1RM training may provide a low volume, less time-demanding alternative to traditional resistance exercise.

Received July 9, 2018; accepted August 1, 2018