Kerstin Grafe

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Promotion and Human Performance

Committee Member

Stephen McGregor, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Christopher Herman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sheldon Levine, M.S.


PURPOSE: To determine the impact of superimposed resistance training (RT) in aerobically trained coronary patients on systolic blood pressure (SBP), heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE; 6–20 scale), and rate pressure product (RPP) at fixed submaximal workloads following a 12-week RT intervention. Additionally, pre-and post-RT measures of brachial artery reactivity, an index of endothelial function, were obtained. METHODS: Fifteen low risk coronary patients (13 men, 2 women; mean ± SD age = 66.1 ± 5.1 yrs) completed a progressive 12-week RT program that complemented their regular aerobic training regimen. Prior to training, SBP, HR, RPP, and RPE were obtained while subjects performed one set (10 repetitions) of three different exercises (bicep curl [BC], shoulder press [SP], and leg press [LP]) at an intensity ~ 60–80% of 1-repetition maximum. After the training period, testing was repeated while subjects lifted the identical pre-training loads for each exercise following a standardized protocol. Vascular function was assessed by flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) testing prior to and immediately following the 12-week RT training intervention. RESULTS: Lifting the same pre-training loads evoked attenuated responses for all variables (HR, SBP, RPE, and RPP). A statistically significant decrease was shown for RPP ([HR x SBP]/100) during BC (106 ± 27 to 91 ± 22, p < .007) and SP (102 ± 24 to 86 ± 17, p < .007), whereas the RPP decrease during LP (116 ± 22 to 109 ± 26) did not achieve statistical significance (p = .18). RPE for all three exercises decreased significantly (p < .0001) following the RT intervention: BC (14.3 ± 2.3 to 9.7 ± 1.6), SP (13.9 ± 1.6 to 9.2 ± 1.5), and LP (14.3 ± 1.4 to 10.3 ± 1.6). Pre-versus-post RT measurements for resting HR and resting SBP were unchanged. Peak FMD responses for the 15 subjects were 12.8% and 10.3% dilation pre- and post-training, respectively (p = 0.332). However, 5 of the 15 subjects showed modest improvements in their post-training time to achieve maximum dilation from a mean of 117 seconds to 81 seconds (p = .156). CONCLUSION: Among aerobically trained coronary patients, a superimposed resistance training program resulted in decreased hemodynamic and RPE responses to lifting fixed submaximal workloads and improved FMD responses in 5 of the 15 participants.