Training & High Blood Pressure

Training with high blood pressure can be intimidating. 

Knowing where to start, what to read who to talk to other than your doctor can be even more overwhelming.

In this article we talk about:

  1. What does the research suggest to do? 
  2. How much exercise you need to reduce High Blood Pressure (HBP).
  3. What type of exercise to start with
  4. What to steer clear of in the gym. 
Blood pressure.jpg

Free Training Guide on training with HBP:

To a lot of coaches out there the answer to everything is usually sadly just train more and push harder. It is NOT the answer and that is an irresponsible approach.

After your initial Free consultation what should happen is this:

  • An outline of what to do week by week. 
  • What to avoid in the gym in regards to exercises.
  • What type of rep range to stick to, to reduce the risk of too much.  
  • What kind of conditioning to start with and stick to. 

What is high blood pressure?

The average heart beats 60-75 beats per minutes. Blood pressure is at its peak when the heart contracts (squeezes). 

Research highlights that there is a rise in blood pressure. steadily with each decade of life. This increases more rapidly with poor diet, lack of exercise and poor stress management. 

Blood pressure has increased over the past decade among children and adolescents, and is in part due to an increased prevalence of overweight. 

High blood pressure increases the risk for coronary heart disease and other forms of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. 

High blood pressure also affects the brain. People with elevated blood pressure in middle age are more likely to suffer 25 years later from loss of cognitive abilities— memory, problem-solving, concentration, and judgment.  This loss further translates into a diminished capacity to function independently in old age.

The loss of excess weight (like our training techniques and smarter nutrition choices) reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and has been identified as the most effective of the lifestyle strategies tested.



The first instant result of exercise like controlled light aerobic work mixed with mid to high reps of 12-15 during weights allows blood vessels to relax after each exercise session because of body warming effects.

Local production of certain chemicals (e.g., lactic acid and nitric oxide), decreases in nerve activity, and changes in certain hormones and their receptors are also experienced. Hence why you will feel better after exercise if the exercise is managed correctly by your coach. 

Stay clear of High intensity interval training.

This has no place for those with high blood pressure and should only be carried out after a review of your blood pressure by your doctor. 

Aim to revisit your doctor after 8 weeks of training.

Therefore seek the help of a Personal Trainer who has knowledge on the subject. 

Medication & Training

During testing 71% of the exercise subjects reported a lowering in their blood pressure after 16 weeks of moderate exercise training. Furthermore those who just took medication and didn't exercise experienced no change in blood pressure. However medication is IMPORTANT to control your blood pressure. 

Never take advice from a Coach about your medication. Keep taking it. The doctor deals with that.



Avoid maximal lifts like heavy squats, deadlifts etc. The emphasis here is on repetitions 10–15 repetitions while targeting an upper body lower body approach. 


A1. Goblet Squat to box    x10

A2. Ring row      x 12

Rest 120 seconds:      3sets


B1. Seated DB single arm overhead press x 10 RIGHT

B2. Glute Bridges   x 14

B3. Seated DB single arm overhead press x 10 LEFT

Rest 120 - 180 seconds:      3 sets

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Larry Brady