Merle L. Foss

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Physical Education


The effect of different activities and conditioning exercises on the cardiovascular system has been the basis for many recent studies by physical educators and physiologists. No doubt much of this research has been prompted by statements such as that by Reidman, “An athlete is only as good as his heart.” Reidman reasoned that the ability of the athlete to perform work was dependent in large measure on the ability of the heart to supply oxygen to the muscles. This, in turn, was dependent upon two factors: (1) the capacity of exertion, and (2) the ability of the heart to return to its resting pulse state. Other students of physiology have indicated that there is a great need for methods by which people may be motivated to maintain sound cardiovascular fitness. The number of deaths attributed to diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system have certainly emphasized the truth and importance of such statements. It should be the obligation of physical educators and physiologists to determine which activities best serve to condition the heart and circulatory system and to develop within their students a feeling of “need” for cardiovascular fitness. It was with these thoughts in mind that the author decided to pursue further the problem of cardiovascular condition resulting from certain types of exercise. Weight training has recently been widely accepted by coaches and physical educators as a means to improve the strength and physiological condition of their athletes and students. Since cardiovascular fitness is an important part of total physiological fitness and has a direct bearing on individual motor performance there seemed to be a need for a study of relationship between weight training and cardiovascular condition. The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze changes in cardiovascular condition resulting from an eight week progressive weight training program. Subjects were 37 South Dakota State College freshmen male students who were enrolled in weight training classes. Steps in the solution of this problem were: (1) To graphically record, both before and after the period of training, the heart action at rest and after a brief exertive exercise. (2) To determine, both before and after the period of training, the pulse rate, the systolic pulse wave amplitude, the diastolic pulse wave amplitude, the dicrotic notch amplitude and the diastolic surge of each subject at rest and following a brief exertive exercise. (3) TO measure the body weight of each subject before and after the training period. (4) To compute the fatigue ratio, recovery indices, and weight indices of the subjects before and after the training period. (5) To calculate the difference and the significance of the differences between the means of the subjects’ test data before they began weight training and the means of their data after the training. (6) To determine by correlative techniques any significant relationships between several of the test variables in this study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Weight lifting


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University