Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Endothelial function and arterial stiffness in young adults with histories of chronic resistance activity

Dustin W. Davis, Matthew J. Garver, Whitley J. Stone, Meera Penumetcha, Josie N. Hair, Nicolas M. Philipp



Endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness indicate vessel damage and are detectable before overt cardiovascular disease. Chronic cardiorespiratory endurance activity improves arterial endothelial function and stiffness. The influence of chronic resistance activity on these variables is less definitive and thus deserves attention. The primary aim of this investigation was to determine if endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness were present in apparently healthy young adults who chronically engage in resistance activity with minimal cardiorespiratory endurance activity. Investigators measured endothelial function as LnRHI and arterial stiffness as AI@75 using the EndoPAT-2000. Investigators measured upper-body muscular strength using a standardized one-repetition maximum (1-RM) bench press. The LnRHI and AI@75 between males and females were compared via an independent-samples t-test and Mann-Whitney U test, respectively. Correlations between 1-RM, bench press to body weight ratio, LnRHI, and AI@75 were evaluated via Pearson’s correlation. Males’ LnRHI was abnormal according to manufacturer standards and lower than females’ (p = .005), but AI@75 was normal and similar for both sexes (p = .22). The 1-RM and bench press to body weight ratio correlated negatively with LnRHI (p = .03 and p = .01, respectively). The bench press to body weight ratio correlated negatively with AI@75 (p = .03), and percentage body fat correlated positively with the AI@75 (p = .003). Young adult males with considerable upper-body muscular strength due to chronic resistance activity, who complete minimal cardiorespiratory endurance activity, appear to have detectable signs of early endothelial dysfunction.


Sports medicine; Muscular strength; Resistance adaptations; Blood vessels


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