In 2020, most exercisers still operate under a false dichotomy that strength training is for muscles, strength, and bone integrity while aerobic exercise is for cardiovascular health. Yet, new scientific research points to cardio-metabolic health as perhaps the most important result we reap from strength training.
Authors of a brand-new review and meta-analysis (a statistical method that pools together the key findings from all of the research on a topic) published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine added to our current understanding of the cardio-metabolic benefits of strength training.
Our key take home messages from this new research:
1. Strength training is an effective exercise modality for inducing improvements in resting blood pressure, flow-mediated dilation, blood biomarkers of cardio-metabolic risk and cardiopulmonary fitness in adults.
2. The effects are more pronounced in older adults (≥41 years) and those with elevated cardio-metabolic risk or disease.
3. Few adverse events have been reported, suggesting that strength training is safe.
Collectively, this research continues to position cardio-metabolic health as the primary “why” that underpins our strength training.