A systematic review of resting left ventricular systolic and diastolic function and adaptation in elite weightlifters

Hardev Dhamu, Peter Malliaras, Richard Twycross-Lewis, Nicola Maffulli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: This review aims to establish what effect weightlifting has on the systolic and diastolic function of the left ventricular (LV).

Sources of data: PubMed; ISI Web of Knowledge; Cochrane Library and Ovid Medline were searched in February 2012 to find literature on the effect of weightlifting on the LV cardiac function.

Areas of agreement: Stroke volume, posterior wall thickness and ventricular filling time and rate were seen to increase. A decrease in the resting heart rate was seen.

Areas of controversy: Blood pressure and LV morphological changes were equivocal.

Growing points: Weightlifting causes recognizable functional change to the LV, some of these changes may confer benefits such as improvements in the systolic function.

Areas timely for developing research: Discrepancies exist with regard to regional LV morphological change, as the evidence suggests the LV does not adapt in a homogenous manner. Attempts should be made to separate performance-enhancing drug users from those who compete drug free. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular adaptation
  • left ventricle
  • weight lifting
  • weight training

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