Peripheral heart action (PHA) training as a valid substitute to high intensity interval training to improve resting cardiovascular changes and autonomic adaptation

Abstract

Purpose

The present study evaluated the effects of peripheral heart action training compared with high intensity interval training on changes in autonomic regulation and physical fitness.

Methods

Eighteen young adults (9 women, 9 men) (age 24 ± 3 years, BMI of 22.67 kg/m2, V′O2max 32.89 ml/kg/min) were randomly assigned to either a high intensity interval training group (n = 8) or a peripheral heart action training (PHA) group (n = 10). Before and after training, maximal whole-body muscular strength, time series of beat-to-beat intervals for heart rate variability, and baroreflex sensitivity were recorded. Arterial baroreflex sensitivity and heart rate variability were estimated on both time and frequency domains. Physical fitness level was evaluated with maximum oxygen consumption test.

Results

The effects of PHA whole-body resistance training increased muscular strength and maximum oxygen consumption, with an effect on vagal–cardiac control and cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity.

Conclusions

After 30 training sessions performed in 3 months, PHA resistance exercise promoted cardiovascular adaptations, with a decrease in the power spectral component of vascular sympathetic activity and an increase in the vagal modulation. Low-frequency oscillation estimated from systolic blood pressure variability seems to be a suitable index of the sympathetic modulation of vasomotor activity. This investigation also want to emphasize the beneficial effects of this particular resistance exercise training, considering also that the increase in muscular strength is inversely associated with all-cause mortality and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, independent of cardiorespiratory fitness levels.

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Abbreviations

ANCOVA:

Analysis of covariance

(a-v)O2 :

Artero-venous oxygen difference

BRS:

Baroreflex sensitivity

BP:

Blood pressure

SBP:

Systolic blood pressure

DBP:

Diastolic blood pressure

ECG:

Electrocardiogram

FFT:

Fast Fourier transformation

HIIT:

High intensity interval training

HRV:

Heart rate variability

HF:

High frequency

LF:

Low frequency

NN50:

The number of interval differences of successive R–R intervals greater than 50 ms

N :

Newton

PHA:

Peripheral heart action

pNN50:

Proportion derived by dividing NN50 by the total number of R–R intervals NN50

RM:

Maximum repetition

%1-RM:

The percentage of one maximum repetition

RMSSD:

The square root of the mean squared differences of successive R–R intervals

SDNN:

Standard deviation of the R–R interval

V′O2max :

Maximum oxygen consumption

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Correspondence to Alessandro Piras.

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Communicated by Guido Ferretti.

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Piras, A., Persiani, M., Damiani, N. et al. Peripheral heart action (PHA) training as a valid substitute to high intensity interval training to improve resting cardiovascular changes and autonomic adaptation. Eur J Appl Physiol 115, 763–773 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-014-3057-9

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Keywords

  • Heart rate variability
  • Baroreflex sensitivity
  • Resistance exercise
  • PHA peripheral heart action
  • HIIT high intensity interval training