Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Study: Strength Training Lowers Blood Pressure Equal to Medication or Aerobics

A study published in the Oct 2010 issue of the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research by Collier et al [1] reports that resistance training (3 sets, 10 reps; upper and lower body at 65% 1 repetition maximum) produces greater increases in limb blood flow and a greater reduction of blood pressure  at (40 minutes postexercise) when compared to aerobic exercise.

According to Kathleen Blanchard writing for,  the study found a 20 percent reduction in blood pressure at 45 minutes after a resistance training session.  This reduction persisted for 24 hours and is equal to or greater than what can occur after use of blood pressure medication, but without side effects.

1. Collier, SR, Diggle, MD, Heffernan, KS, Kelly, EE, Tobin, MM, and Fernhall, B.  Changes in Arterial Distensibility and Flow-Mediated Dilation After Acute Resistance vs. Aerobic Exercise. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 10 - pp 2846-2852


harp said...

I admit ignorance. I am no gym rat. I attempted to follow the links, and couldn't find the answer I wanted.

The question is, how do I translate that into an exercise program?

Don said...


My suggestion:

Barbell squats, 1 set of 15-20 repetitions
Chin ups, 1-2 sets of 6-8 repetitions
Bench press, 1-2 sets of 6-8 repetitions
Deadlift or stiff-legged deadlift or leg curls, 1 set of 12-15 repetitions
Press overhead, 1-2 sets of 6-8 repetitions

Repeat 1-2 times weekly.

John said...

Another way to reduce your blood pressure without medication is via nitrate rich food.
A study showed that drinking half a liter of beetroot juice significantly lowered blood pressure in human subjects for 24 hours. [1]
Stephan Guyenet also mentioned this study in his post on nitrate. [2]


[1] Webb A.J. et al. Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite. Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):784-90.
[2] Guyenet, S. Nitrate: a Protective Factor in Leafy Greens. June 10, 2010.

alan said...

Cool Post...........

SMith Alan