Resistance Training for Cardiac Patients: Maximizing Rehabilitation

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Exercise Science


Resistance training (RT) is safe for selected cardiac rehabilitation patients and provides a number of health and fitness benefits. It is important for each cardiac patient to follow the proper time course for initiating RT and adhere to specific RT programming and safety guidelines. Cardiac patients should have their RT program adapted to their specific needs and abilities. This will allow them to achieve the benefits of RT, while minimizing the risk of adverse events or injury. Resistance training, like cardiorespiratory exercise, should be continued after the completion of a cardiac rehabilitation program to maintain or further enhance muscular fitness.

Evidence now clearly demonstrates that cardiac rehabilitation patients should be performing RT. The benefits obtained from RT will compliment the cardiorespiratory component of cardiac rehabilitation. Once a cardiac patient has been deemed safe and ready to initiate RT, specific safety and programming guidelines should be followed to maximize RT safety and efficacy. In addition to maintaining their cardiorespiratory training after cardiac rehabilitation, cardiac patients should continue to engage in RT to improve their quality of life.


Published: Sorace, P., P. Ronai, and J. Churilla. "Resistance Training for Cardiac Patients: Maximizing Rehabilitation." ACSM's health & fitness journal 12.6 (Nov/Dec 2008): 22-28.