This review investigated the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation consisting of resistance training on outcomes of physical function. Studies including resistance training as a single intervention, or in combination with aerobic training, were included. These were compared to aerobic training alone for cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2 peak and peak work capacity) and muscular strength. Meta-analyses were conducted and the quality of the evidence was classified from very low to high using the GRADE approach. There was moderate quality evidence for improvements in peak oxygen uptake (weighted mean difference (WMD) 0.61 mL/kg/min, 95% confidence internal (CI) 0.20 to 1.10), peak work capacity (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.38, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.64) and muscular strength (SMD 0.65, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.87) favouring combined training (resistance training in combination with aerobic training). There was no evidence of a difference in effect when comparing resistance training alone to aerobic training, with low quality evidence. Combining resistance training with aerobic training in cardiac rehabilitation is more effective than aerobic training alone for improving physical function.
Xanthos PD et al. Implementing resistance training in the rehabilitation of coronary heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cardiol 2017;230:493-508.