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  • 1 Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania
  • 2 Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • 3 Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
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Introduction

Exercise training, besides many health benefits, may result in cardiac remodelling which is dependent on the type and amount of exercise performed. It is not clear, however, whether significant adaptation in cardiac structure is possible in females undergoing resistance type of exercise training. Rigorous high volume training of most muscle groups emphasising resistance exercises are being undertaken by athletes of some aesthetic sports such as female fitness (light bodybuilding). The impact of this type of training on cardiac adaptation has not been investigated until now. The aim of the current study was to disclose the effect of high volume resistance training on cardiac structure and function.

Methods

11 top-level female fitness athletes and 20 sedentary age-matched controls were recruited to undergo two-dimensional echocardiography.

Results

Cardiac structure did not differ between elite female fitness athletes and controls (p > 0.05), and fitness athletes had a tendency for a smaller (p = 0.07) left ventricular (LV) mass indexed to lean body mass. Doppler diastolic function index (E/A ratio) and LV ejection fraction were similar between the groups (p > 0.05).

Conclusions

Elite female fitness athletes have normal cardiac size and function that do not differ from matched sedentary controls. Consequently, as high volume resistance training has no easily observable effect on adaptation of cardiac structure, when cardiac hypertrophy is present in young resistance-trained lean female, other reasons such as inherited cardiac disease are to be considered carefully.

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