Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Kinesiology and Sport Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Lynn Panton

Committee Members

Craig E. Broeder, Kathy Browder


One of the age-related changes associated with normal aging is the inability to maintain normal blood pressure homeostasis, a common clinical condition known as orthostatic intolerance. There are little data on the effects of strength training in healthy adults and orthostatic intolerance, and only one study on strength training and elderly adults diagnosed with orthostatic intolerance. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of resistance training on the cardiovascular respones of elderly individuals during an orthostatic challenge.

Thirteen subjects were assigned to either a resistance (RES; n=7; 66±5 yrs.) or a control (CON; n=6; 71±6 yrs.) group. During the 12-week treatment period, the RES trained 2x/wk, while the CON was asked not to change their normal lifestyles. The resistance training consisted of 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions using 12 machines at approximately 22% to 57% of 1RM. Before and after the training and control period, subjects were tested using a 70 degree head-up tilt. Tilt consisted of 30 minutes of supine rest while heart rate(HR) was recorded every minute and blood pressure (BP) was taken every 5 minutes. After the rest period, subjects were tilted to 70 degrees for 30 minutes unless subjects experienced presyncopal symptoms. During the tilt period, HR and BP were recorded every minute. After the tilt, subjects were placed in a supine position for 15 minutes of recovery, HR was taken every minute, and BP was taken every 5 minutes. A 2X2X8(test X group X time) Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance was used to analyze data. Significance was accepted at p ≤ 0.05.

After the 12 weeks of training, the RES significantly increased upper (46±24 to 55±29kg) and lower (62±20 to 80±31kg) body strength while the CON showed no changes. Body composition measurements by DEXA showed lean mass to increase significantly (50.5±12.9 to 52.7±13.1kg) for the RES group, while the CON showed no changes. Of the 13 subjects only 9 subjects completed the pre and post tilt tests. Of the 9 completing both tilt periods, there were no significant differences between groups for any of the dependent measures of HR, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that a resistance training program was well tolerated and improved strength and lean mass in the RES. However, training did not help these individuals improve cardiovascular responses to an orthostatic challenge.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Kinesiology Commons