Journal of Trainology



April 2023; Vol. 12, No. 1: Pages 5-13

The acute effects of resistance training on arterial stiffness: A systematic review

Eleftherios Karanasios, Helen Ryan-Stewart, James Faulkner


Objective: The effects of resistance training (RT) and the potential role of isolated training variables on arterial stiffness (AS) remain inconclusive. This review summarises the current literature examining the acute effects of RT on AS from a distinct perspective, considering 'intensity of effort' as an independent loading variable, potentially affecting AS responses to RT. Design: Systematic review Methods: SPORTDiscus, PubMed/MEDLINE, CHINAHL and Google Scholar electronic databases were searched between 2000 and 2022. Randomised control trials, non-randomised or repeated measures comparative studies assessing arterial responses to acute RT protocols measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV) were included. Results: From the 645 articles identified, 16 articles were included. Ten studies reported a significant increase in carotid-femoral PWV (cfPWV) post-exercise (p < 0.05), with increases between 2% and 20.8% reported. Five studies found no significant differences in cfPWV while in one study femoral-dorsalis pedis PWV decreased by 14%. Loading intensities ranging from 30% to 95% of 1RM had an ambiguous effect on AS, although there was a trend towards increased AS following acute RT. Higher intensities of effort and slower repetition velocities appeared to further increase AS. Conclusions: Available evidence shows a trend for increased AS following acute RT. Nonetheless, it remains to be determined whether additional RT variables (e.g., intensity of effort, repetition duration) could attenuate or limit increases in AS. Further research, having more RT variables controlled, is needed to draw definite conclusions.

Received March 11, 2023; accepted April 28, 2023