This type of strength training is just as good for your cardiovascular health as running
Strength training is especially good for body composition and strength, endurance training is especially good for heart and blood vessels. That’s what the textbooks say. They also add that the positive health effects of strength and endurance training overlap. This overlap is a lot bigger than the textbooks say, sports scientists at the University of Prishtina in Kosovo report. The Kosovars discovered that strength training can have just as many positive cardiovascular effects as old-fashioned and solid endurance training.
The researchers divided 57 female students – average age: 23 – into 3 groups. During the 8 weeks that the study took, a first group did absolutely nothing. [Control]
A first experimental group did endurance training 3 times a week. With each workout, the women ran on a treadmill for 45-60 minutes. As the women got fitter, the researchers increased the treadmill’s incline.
A second experimental group started doing circuit training 3 times a week. The circuit consisted of strength exercises, the researchers of which increased the load during the period.
Details about the circuit training are shown in the table below. Click on it for a larger version.
Both the subjects who did circuit training and the subjects in the treadmill group lost weight and saw their fat percentage drop. These effects were the same in both groups.
After 8 weeks, the LDL and glucose levels were significantly lower in the circuit training and treadmill groups than in the control group. The triglycerides concentration dropped in all groups.
“Our results confirm the positive effects of endurance training, performed on treadmill, and circuit resistance training on lipid panel and body composition indices in adult healthy women”, the researchers summarize their findings.
“Moreover, no differential effects between the applied physical exercise programs were evidenced. Since the applied physical exercise programs lasted 8 weeks, it may be concluded that both types of exercise were equally effective with regard to changes in the observed parameters of cardiovascular risk.”
“Circuit resistance training included exercises done with own body weight, weight machines and handheld weights. Since all participants were tested on their strength capacity prior to the study, individualized training programs were developed and applied throughout the study course. In addition, every two weeks, additional screening of the strength capacities was done, which allowed us to redesign the volume and intensity of training.”
“Endurance training consisted of treadmill exercising, and prior to study, all participants were tested for their initial endurance capacity. The result of each participant was then recorded and used in the training design, which, together with training load monitoring, resulted in appropriate and precise workloads in each training session.”
“Altogether, this design almost certainly influenced the efficacy of both physical exercise modalities.”
This cardio training schedule reverses cardiovascular aging 23.01.2018
Strength training improves cholesterol level (a little) 26.03.2014
Strength training protects against high blood pressure 30.04.2013
Strength training helps prevent thrombosis 21.04.2013