Abstract 1979: Progressive Resistance Training Improves Muscle Strength, Household Physical Activity Performance and Quality of Life in Women Attending Cardiac Rehabilitation
Introduction: Women often feel guilt if unable to resume household physical activities (HPA) post-cardiac event. Upper body muscle strength is important for performance of HPA, but muscle strength in women declines with natural aging and physical inactivity post-cardiac event.
Hypothesis: This study examined the impact of progressive, upper body resistance training (RT) on muscle strength, HPA (Household Activities Scale), and cardiac quality of life (CQOL) (Quality of Life Index-Cardiac Version) among women attending Cardiac Rehabilitation.
Methods: This ten-week, pretest-posttest, parallel-group experiment randomized thirty women to usual care (UC) aerobic exercise or RT groups. RT muscle strength was measured using the 1-Repetition Maximum (1-RM). The RT group progressively increased weight at three-week intervals using 40, 50 and 60% of baseline 1-RM. ANOVA determined group differences in HPA and CQOL. Independent t-test determined muscle strength difference.
Results: By study end, both groups experienced 1-RM muscle strength gains. The RT group (n = 16, mean age 64 ± 11) significantly increased % muscle strength (chest press, 18 vs. 11%, (t = 3.76, p= .001); shoulder press, 24 vs. 14%, (t = 3.99, p = .002); biceps curl, 21 vs. 12%, (t = 3.12, p = .006); lateral row, 32 vs. 9%, (t = 2.74, p = .007) and triceps extension, 28% vs. 20%, (t= 4.53, p < . 001) respectively, compared to the UC group (n = 14, mean age 65 ± 10). HPA scores significantly increased (F = 13.878, p = .001) in the RT group (8.75 ± 3.19 vs.11.25 ± 2.14), whereas, the UC group decreased (8.60 ± 3.11 vs. 6.86 ± 4.13). Although scores were greater in RT compared to UC groups, (25.45 ± 3.14 vs. 23.77 ± 4.78, respectively) there was no statistical difference in CQOL (F = .843, p = .336).
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that progressive upper body RT is an effective tool for increasing muscle strength, improving performance of HPA and has implications for other health aspects like bone density and maintenance of lean muscle mass post-cardiac event. Beginning RT early after cardiac event in a monitored CR environment can maximize the strengthening benefit.