Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Combining resistance and endurance training best for heart health

A study of triathletes published in the online edition and October issue of Radiology reveals that the heart adapts to triathlon training by working more efficiently.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study using MRI to investigate effects of triathlon training on cardiac adaptations," said lead researcher Michael M. Lell, M.D., associate professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Erlangen, Germany.

Dr. Lell and colleagues conducted cardiac MRI on 26 professional male triathletes (mean age 27.9) and 27 male controls (mean age 27.3), who were recreationally active no more than three hours per week. Triathletes in the study were top national and international competitors with six or more years of continuous training. Triathlons are multi-sport events consisting of swimming, cycling and running various distances in succession.

The cardiac MR images revealed that, compared to the recreational athletes, the triathletes had larger left atria and larger right and left ventricles. The triathletes' left and right ventricles also had greater muscle mass and wall thickness.

"In competitive athletes, it is important to distinguish physiological adaptations as a result of training from pathological conditions such as cardiomyopathy, the most common cause of sudden cardiac death," Dr. Lell said.

In cardiomyopathy, the size of the heart's four chambers and the thickness of the heart wall become asymmetrical, and the heart muscle is unable to pump effectively.

"The cardiac adaptations in the elite triathletes we studied were characterized by a balanced increase in left and right ventricular muscle mass, wall thickness, dilation and diastolic function," Dr. Lell said. "These adaptations reflect the nature of triathlon training, which has both endurance and resistance components."

Dynamic or endurance training includes activities such as running and swimming. Weightlifting is an example of static or resistance training, and cycling is a combination of both forms of exercise. Excessive training in either resistance or endurance disciplines leads to specific heart adaptations, and extreme endurance training is thought to be associated with a predisposition to sudden cardiac events.

"Cardiac adaptations in elite triathletes in our study were not associated with sudden cardiac death," Dr. Lell said.

The triathletes' resting heart rates were also 17 percent lower than those of the control group, which leads to greater cardiac blood supply and more economized heart function.

"The hearts of the triathletes in our study are stronger and able to manage the same workload with less effort," said Dr. Lell.

"Atrial and Ventricular Functional and Structural Adaptations of the Heart in Elite Triathletes Assessed with Cardiac MR Imaging." Collaborating with Dr. Lell were Michael Scharf, M.D., Matthias H. Brem, M.D., Matthias Wilhelm, M.D., U. Joseph Schoepf, M.D., and Michael Uder, M.D.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (

RSNA is an association of more than 44,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (

For patient-friendly information on cardiac MRI, visit

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>