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Strength Training and "CardioVascular Fitness"

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George Sheehan M.D. Guru of Running: Sheehan, G.A., M.D., “Take the Muscles and Run,” Physicians and  Sportsmedicine 9, no. 5 (May1981): 35.
"You might suspect from the emphasis on cardiopulmonary fitness that the major effect of training is on the heart and lungs. Guess again. Exercise does nothing for the lungs; that has been amply proved... Nor does it especially benefit your heart. Running, no matter what you have been told, primarily trains and conditions the muscles."


Interview with Henry A. Solomon M.D. Author of The Exercise Myth.


Training is no guarantee of health
 by Mark Sisson


Project Total Conditioning Peterson JA,  ATHLETIC JOURNAL Vol. 56 September, 1975
"Contrary to most commonly held beliefs on the subject of strength training,  the training also significantly improved the cardiovascular condition of the subjects. By maintaining the intensity of the workouts at a high level and by limiting the amount of rest between exercises, the training resulted in improvement on each of 60 separate measures of cardiovascular fitness. Contrary to widespread opinion, not only will a properly conducted program of strength training produce increases in muscular strength but will also significantly improve an individual’s level of cardiovascular condition. The
data suggests that some of these cardiovascular benefits apparently cannot be achieved by any other type of training. "


The Myth of Cardiovascular Health From Exercise  Exercise Doesn’t Prevent heart Disease  Peskin BS  Cambridge Institute for Medical Science

Resistance Training to Momentary Muscular Failure Improves Cardiovascular Fitness in Humans: A Review of Acute Physiological Responses and Chronic Physiological Adaptations Steel J et al JEP Online June 2012.


Improved Cardiorespiratory Endurance Following 6 Months of Resistance Exercise in Elderly Men and Women Vincent KR et al Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:673-678.

Conclusions  Significant improvements in aerobic capacity and treadmill time to exhaustion can be obtained in older adults as a consequence of either high- or low-intensity resistance exercise. These findings suggest that increased strength, as a consequence of resistance exercise training, may allow older adults to reach and/or improve their aerobic capacity.





Effect of Exercise Training on Peak Aerobic Power, Left Ventricular Morphology, and Muscle Strength in Healthy Older Women Haykowsky M et al  The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 60:307-311 (2005)

The mechanism responsible for the improvement in VO2peak, in healthy older women has received minimal attention. The few studies performed to date (24–26) have focused on aerobic based exercise interventions. Overall, the findings of these studies suggest that the increase in VO2peak associated with AT is due to the improvement in peak arteriovenous oxygen difference, as no significant change was found for heart rate (24,25), end diastolic volume (24), end systolic volume (24), stroke volume (24,25), ejection fraction (24,26), or cardiac output during peak exercise (24,25).

Lastly, our finding of no favorable cardiac adaptations after AT, ST, or COMT indicates that the increase in VO2peak was likely due to improvements in skeletal muscle function and morphology. More specifically, a number of investigators have found that AT and/or ST is associated with an increase in skeletal muscle fiber cross-sectional area (8,9,30), capillary density (9,30), capillary-to-fiber ratio (8,9,30), and oxidative enzyme activity (8,30) in older men and women.



Resistance and aerobic training in older men: effects on VO2 peak and the capillary supply to skeletal muscle  Hepple et al J Appl Physiol 82: 1305-1310, 1997;
We observed that a program of 9 wk of RT followed by 9 wk of AT produced a similar increase in VO2 peak (l/min) as did 18 wk of AT in a population of older men. In conjunction with the changes in VO2 peak, we observed significant increases in the capillary-to-fiber surface interface (as reflected in an increased CFPE index) after both RT and AT, whereas the CD was significantly increased only after AT. When the VO2 peak was regressed as a function of the capillary supply, the CFPE index was found to explain a greater proportion of the variance in VO2 peak than did the other indexes of the capillary supply. These observations support the utility of the CFPE index in providing an indication of the capacity for oxygen flux between the capillaries and muscle fibers and support an important role for the capillaries in the VO2 peak response in the older population. They also suggest the possibility that high-intensity RT and AT, by increasing the capillary supply to the skeletal muscle fibers, may operate through similar mechanisms to increase the VO2 peak in the older population


Strength training and determinants of VO2max in older men  Frontera WR et al  J Appl Physiol 68: 329-333, 1990;
US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts


Large energetic adaptations of elderly muscle to resistance and endurance training Jubrias SA et al J Appl Physiol 90: 1663-1670, 2001;

RT and oxidative properties. The increase in kPCr and oxidative capacity in the RT group was unexpected. RT in young subjects typically results in lower oxidative enzyme activity and Vv(mt,f), reflecting the dilution of mitochondrial structure with the increase in muscle size (9, 36, 37). Our RT subjects had greater muscle size after training, but this did not lead to a reduction in Vv(mt,f) or oxidative properties. Instead, we found an increased oxidative capacity, and this increase (50%) was greater than that found for the ET group. In addition, Vv(mt,f) increased after RT, in contrast to the lack of change after ET. These improvements in oxidative properties for the RT group are supported by previous reports of increased oxidative enzyme activity and capillary-to-fiber ratio after RT in the elderly (18, 22, 23). Our results indicate that elderly muscle shows adaptations in muscle size and strength in common with young muscle after RT, but the increase in oxidative properties is an unexpected response of elderly muscle to this training

Effects of exercise training on thermoregulatory responses and blood volume in older men Okazaki, K et al J Appl Physiol 93: 1630-1637, 2002.


Resistance versus endurance training in patients with COPD and peripheral muscle weakness Spruit MA et al Eur Respir J 2002; 19:1072-1078


Randomized trial of progressive resistance training to counteract the myopathy of chronic heart failure Pu CT et al J Appl Physiol 90: 2341-2350, 2001;


Effects of High-Intensity Interval Walking Training on Physical Fitness and Blood Pressure in Middle-Aged and Older People Nemeto k et al Mayo Clinic Proceedings July 2007 vol. 82 no. 7 803-811


Exercise: A Walk in the Park? Levine J  Mayo Clinic Proceedings July 2007 vol. 82 no. 7 797-798


Progressive Resistance Exercise in Physical Therapy: A Summary of Systematic Reviews Taylor NF PHYS THER
Vol. 85, No. 11, November 2005, pp. 1208-1223


Skeletal Muscle and Cardiovascular Adaptations to Exercise Conditioning in Older Coronary Patients  Ades et al Circulation, August 1, 1996; 94(3): 323 - 330.
Accordingly, in the present study, we tested the hypothesis that conditioning-induced adaptations in older coronary patients are primarily noncardiovascular in nature. If true, this may have implications regarding optimal training techniques in this group of patients.

Conclusions Older coronary patients successfully improve peak aerobic capacity after 3 and 12 months of supervised aerobic conditioning compared with control subjects. The mechanism of the increase in peak aerobic capacity is associated almost exclusively with peripheral skeletal muscle adaptations, with no discernible improvements in cardiac output or calf blood flow.

Table 2. Cardiac Response to Exercise Conditioning
  Baseline (n=55) 3 mo (n=55) Baseline (n=21) 12 mo (n=21)

Peak workload, W 8332 9328 (P<.001) 8429 9728 (P<.001)
Resting heart rate, bpm 7213 6813 (P=.001) 7413 6710 (P=.02)
Peak heart rate, bpm 11921 12123 11827 11520
Resting EF, % 5111 5111 5113 5211
Peak EF, % 5513 5712 (P=.07) 5512 5214
Peak end-diastolic volume, mL 19785 18173 (P=.07) 20979 20481
Peak end-systolic volume, mL 9159 8246 (P=.06) 9354 9551
Peak stroke volume, mL 10847 9942 11651 10944
Peak cardiac output, L/min 12.65.8 11.75.6 13.86.7 11.82.8

"Sarcopenia and Dynapenia"  Clark et al J. Gerontology 2008 63:8: 829-834

"Resistance exercise: good for more than just Grandma and Granpa's Muscle"Phillip S et al Appl Physio Nutr Metab 2007

 "Non-exercise activity Thermogenesis: the crouching tiger hidden dragon of societal weight gain"  Levine JA et al ArtThroVasBiol Apr 2006

More NEAT References


"Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle"  Melov S et al  PLOS Online 2007


 "Strength Training and the Work of Arthur Jones Smith D et al

JEPonline, Dec 2004


 Leucine and BCAA articles and References


"The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease"

AmJClinNut 2006  Wolfe RR


 "Project Total Conditioning"  West Point Study Peterson JA, Athletic Journal, Vol 56 Sep 75.


 "Short term sprint interval versus traditional endurance training: similar initial adaptations in human skeletal muscle and exercise performance"

 Gibala et al J. Phys 2006


"To perform your best: work hard not long"

Barr K J. Physiol 2006


"Alterations in body weight and composition subsequent to 20wk of endurance training: The HERITAGE Family Study" Wilmore J et al  Am J Clin Nutr 1999


  "Effects of exercise and diet on chronic disease"   Roberts et al J.App.Phys 2005


 "Effect of dietary supplements on lean mass and strength gains with resistance exercise: a meta-analysis"   Nissen etal J.App.Phys 2003


"The Age-Related Decline in Resting Energy Expenditure in Humans is Due to the Loss of Fat-Free Mass and to Alterations in its Metabolically Active Components"   Am Soc Nut Sci 2003


"Older Men are as Responsive as Young Men to the Anabolic Effects of Testosterone on Skeletal Muscle"  J Clin End & Metab 2005


"Sarcopenic Obesity, the Confluence of Two Epidemics"

 Obesity Research 2004


 "Low-Dose Recombinant Human Growth Hormone as Adjuvant Therapy to Lifestyle Modifications in the Management of Obesity"

 J Clin End Met 2004"


 "Risks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Recommendations for Monitoring" NEJM 2004"


 "Links between Dietary Salt Intake, Renal Salt Handling, Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Diseases" PhysRev 2005


 "High Glycemic Foods, Overeating and Obesity"  Ludwig et al  Pediatrics 1999


 "Origins and evolution of the Western Diet: health implications for the 21st Century"  Cordain, L et al  Am J Clin Nutr 2005"


 "Low Relative Skeletal Muscle Mass (Sarcopenia) in Older Persons is Associated with Functional Impairment and Physical Disability"  Janssen I et al  J Am Geron Society  May 2002.


  "Effects of Creatine Supplementation and Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Weightlifting Performance"  Rawson ES, J Strength Cond Res 2003.


"Hypnotic Enhancement of Cognitive-Behavioral Weight Loss Treatments Hirsh, I  J Counc Clin Psych 1996


 "Muscles, Genes & Athletic Performance" Anderson JL et  al Scientific American Sept 2000

 "Sarcopenia & Aging" Kamel et  al Nutrition Reviews May 2003


 "Cereal Grains: Humanity's Double Edged Sword""Man cannot live on bread alone" Matthew 4:4


 "Acne Vulgaris, A Disease of Western Civilization"Virtually no Acne found in Hunter Gatherer Cultures..


 "First Myostatin Deficient Baby Reported" At 4.5 years of age holds 6.6lb dumbells out from




Miller et al, "A meta-analysis of the past 25 years of weight loss research using diet, exercise or diet plus exercise intervention." International Journal of Obesity (1997) 21, 941947


Wilmore et al "Alterations in body weight and composition consequent to 20 wk of endurance training: the HERITAGE Family Study." Am J Clin Nutr 346 1999;70:346–52.


Stampfer et al "Primary Prevention of coronary heart disease in women through diet and lifestyle."  NEJM, 2000; 343(1):16-22


Williams MA et al "Resistance Exercise in Individuals With and Without Cardiovascular Disease:2007 Update: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism"  Circulation 2007:116:572-584.





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