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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 964697, 8 pages
Research Article

Effects of the Intensity of Leg Isometric Training on the Vasculature of Trained and Untrained Limbs and Resting Blood Pressure in Middle-Aged Men

1Sport and Exercise Science, University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL, UK
2Sport and Exercise Science, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1QU, UK

Received 22 May 2012; Revised 20 July 2012; Accepted 26 July 2012

Academic Editor: Cheri McGowan

Copyright © 2012 Anthony W. Baross et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to establish whether changes in resting blood pressure and the vasculature of trained and untrained limbs are dependent on training intensity, following isometric-leg training. Thirty middle-aged males undertook an 8 week training programme ( 4 × 2  min bilateral-leg isometric contractions 3 times per week). Two groups trained at either high (HI; 14%MVC) or low (LO; 8%MVC) intensity a third group (CON) acted as controls. All parameters were measured at baseline, 4-weeks and post-training. Resting SBP ( 1 0 . 8 ± 7 . 9  mmHg), MAP ( 4 . 7 ± 6 . 8  mmHg) and HR ( 4 . 8 ± 5 . 9  b·min−1) fell significantly in the HI group post-training with concomitant significant increases in resting femoral mean artery diameter (FMAD; 1 . 0 ± 0 . 4  mm), femoral mean blood velocity (FMBV; 0 . 6 8 ± 0 . 8 3  cm·s−1), resting femoral artery blood flow (FABF; 8 2 . 0 6 ± 3 1 . 9 2  ml·min−1) and resting femoral vascular conductance (FVC, 45%). No significant changes occurred in any brachial artery measure nor in any parameters measured in the LO or CON groups. These findings show that training-induced reductions in resting blood pressure after isometric-leg training in healthy middle-aged men are associated with concomitant adaptations in the local vasculature, that appear to be dependent on training intensity and take place in the later stages of training.