With aging and disease, there is a breakdown of the natural fractal-like organization of heart rate (HR). Fractal-like correlation properties of HR can be assessed with detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). A short-time scaling exponent (alpha(s)) value of 1 is associated with healthy HR dynamics, whereas values that deviate away from 1, in either direction, indicate fractal collapse. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of resistance exercise training (RT) on fractal correlation properties of HR dynamics. Resting ECG was collected at baseline, following a 4-wk time control period and 6 wk of RT (3 days per wk) in 34 men (23 +/- 1 years of age). Fractal properties of HR were assessed with DFA. There was no change in alpha(s) following either the time control period or RT (1.01 +/- 0.06 to 0.98 +/- 0.06 to 0.93 +/- 0.04, P > 0.05). Given the potential bidirectional nature of fractal collapse, subjects were retrospectively separated into two groups (higher alpha(s) and lower alpha(s)) on the basis of the initial alpha(s) by using cluster analysis. An interaction was detected for alpha(s) following RT (P < 0.05). There was no change in alpha(s) in either group following the time control, but alpha(s) increased following RT in the lower alpha(s) group (n = 18; 0.73 +/- 0.04 to 0.69 +/- 0.04 to 0.88 +/- 0.04) and alpha(s) decreased following RT in the higher alpha(s) group (n = 16; 1.20 +/- 0.04 to 1.24 +/- 0.04 to 0.98 +/- 0.04). In conclusion, RT improves fractal properties of HR dynamics.