Purpose: We examined whether 12 weeks of higher intensity aerobic interval training plus progressive resistance training (HIIT+PRT) improved aerobic capacity, muscle strength, blood glucose and lipid profile in Phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation patients compared to standard care. Methods: Twenty-five men (65 ± 11 yr SD) participated in either HIIT+PRT (N=17, 3 x 5 min intervals at 65% predicted peak heart rate (HRpeak) alternated with 2 x 5 min intervals at 85%, plus 30 min PRT) or remained in standard care (CON N=8). The following measures were assessed at baseline and post-12 weeks: resting HR, blood pressure (BP), muscle strength, aerobic power, fasting blood glucose and cholesterol. Results: HIIT+PRT significantly increased aerobic power (+24%), elapsed test time (+29%), abdominal muscular strength (+13%) and decreased systolic and diastolic BP (-7.7%, -5%), rate-pressure product (-14%), body mass (-2%), resting HR (-8%), fasting glucose (-7%), LDL (-36%) and triglycerides (-27%) compared to CON (P < 0.05). CON showed significantly increased triglycerides after 12 weeks. There were no adverse cardiac events in either group during or after the study. Conclusions: HIIT+PRT significantly improved aerobic capacity and clinical measures in stable Phase 2 CAD patients to a greater extent than standard rehabilitation exercise, and without adverse cardiac events.
Journal of Fitness Research / Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.8-16