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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Dec;115(12):2471-80. doi: 10.1007/s00421-015-3253-2. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

Effects of exercise intensity and occlusion pressure after 12 weeks of resistance training with blood-flow restriction.

Author information

1
School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, Av Prof. Mello Moraes, 65, Butantã, São Paulo, SP, 05508-030, Brazil.
2
Department of Physical Education, Center of Biological and Health Sciences, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, Brazil.
3
Diagnósticos das Américas S/A (DASA), São Paulo, Brazil.
4
School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, Av Prof. Mello Moraes, 65, Butantã, São Paulo, SP, 05508-030, Brazil. hars@usp.br.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We compared the effects of different protocols of blood-flow restriction training (BFRT) with different occlusion pressures and/or exercise intensities on muscle mass and strength. We also compared BFRT protocols with conventional high-intensity resistance training (RT).

METHODS:

Twenty-six subjects had each leg allocated to two of five protocols. BFRT protocols were performed at either 20 or 40 % 1-RM with either 40 or 80 % occlusion pressure: BFRT20/40, BFRT20/80, BFRT40/40, and BFRT40/80. Conventional RT was performed at 80 % 1-RM (RT80) without blood-flow restriction. Maximum dynamic strength (1-RM) and quadriceps cross-sectional area (CSA) were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks.

RESULTS:

Regarding muscle mass, increasing occlusion pressure was effective only at very low intensity (BFRT20/40 0.78 % vs. BFRT20/80 3.22 %). No additional increase was observed at higher intensities (BFRT40/40 4.45 % vs. BFRT40/80 5.30 %), with no difference between the latter protocols and RT80 (5.90 %). Exercise intensity played a role in CSA when comparing groups with similar occlusion pressure. Muscle strength was similarly increased among BFRT groups (~12.10 %) but to a lesser extent than RT80 (21.60 %).

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, BFRT protocols benefit from higher occlusion pressure (80 %) when exercising at very low intensities. Conversely, occlusion pressure seems secondary to exercise intensity in more intense (40 % 1-RM) BFRT protocols. Finally, when considering muscle strength, BFRT protocols seem less effective than high-intensity RT.

KEYWORDS:

Exercise intensity; Muscle hypertrophy; Muscle strength; Occlusion pressure; Occlusion training; Strength training

PMID:
26323350
DOI:
10.1007/s00421-015-3253-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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