Exercise intensity and muscle hypertrophy in blood flow-restricted limbs and non-restricted muscles: a brief review.
ABSTRACT Although evidence for high-intensity resistance training-induced muscle hypertrophy has accumulated over the last several decades, the basic concept of the training can be traced back to ancient Greece: Milo of Croton lifted a bull-calf daily until it was fully grown, which would be known today as progressive overload. Now, in the 21st century, different types of training are being tested and studied, such as low-intensity exercise combined with arterial as well as venous blood flow restriction (BFR) to/from the working muscles. Because BFR training requires the use of a cuff that is placed at the proximal ends of the arms and/or legs, the BFR is only applicable to limb muscles. Consequently, most previous BFR training studies have focused on the physiological adaptations of BFR limb muscles. Muscle adaptations in non-BFR muscles of the hip and trunk are lesser known. Recent studies that have reported both limb and trunk muscle adaptations following BFR exercise training suggest that low-intensity (20-30% of 1RM) resistance training combined with BFR elicits muscle hypertrophy in both BFR limb and non-BFR muscles. However, the combination of leg muscle BFR with walk training elicits muscle hypertrophy only in the BFR leg muscles. In contrast to resistance exercise with BFR, the exercise intensity may be too low during BFR walk training to cause muscle hypertrophy in the non-BFR gluteus maximus and other trunk muscles. Other mechanisms including hypoxia, local and systemic growth factors and muscle cell swelling may also potentially affect the hypertrophic response of non-BFR muscles to BFR resistance exercise.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the efficacy of ischemia in strength training with low mechanical stress, tourniquet ischemia was utilized in low-resistance training. Five untrained subjects conducted one-legged isometric knee extension training with one leg ischemic (I-leg) and the other non-ischemic (NI-leg). Repeated isometric contractions for 2 s with 3 s relaxation in between were continued for 3 min and conducted 3 days/week for 4 weeks as training. Training resistance was 40% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of respective leg and tourniquet ischemia was applied during I-leg training. MVC in I-leg after 2 weeks (9% gain) and 4 weeks (26% gain) were significantly higher than pre-training value (p < 0.05). A significant increase in maximal rate of torque development in I-leg was observed after 4 weeks (p < 0.05). On the contrary, there was no significant changes in either of the parameters in NI-leg. As a consequence, the differences between legs for both parameters were significant after 2 and 4 weeks (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01). The substantial gain in strength and maximal rate of torque development in I-leg demonstrated the efficacy of tourniquet ischemia during low-resistance training of short duration, and suggested the importance of neuromuscular and/or metabolic activity, other than high mechanical stress, to the adapting responses to strength training.European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 01/1998; 77(1-2):189-91.
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that low-intensity resistance training with restricted muscular venous blood flow (Kaatsu) causes muscle hypertrophy and strength gain. To investigate the effects of daily physical activity combined with Kaatsu, we examined the acute and chronic effects of walk training with and without Kaatsu on MRI-measured muscle size and maximum dynamic (one repetition maximum) and isometric strength, along with blood hormonal parameters. Nine men performed Kaatsu-walk training, and nine men performed walk training alone (control-walk). Training was conducted two times a day, 6 days/wk, for 3 wk using five sets of 2-min bouts (treadmill speed at 50 m/min), with a 1-min rest between bouts. Mean oxygen uptake during Kaatsu-walk and control-walk exercise was 19.5 (SD 3.6) and 17.2 % (SD 3.1) of treadmill-determined maximum oxygen uptake, respectively. Serum growth hormone was elevated (P < 0.01) after acute Kaatsu-walk exercise but not in control-walk exercise. MRI-measured thigh muscle cross-sectional area and muscle volume increased by 4-7%, and one repetition maximum and maximum isometric strength increased by 8-10% in the Kaatsu-walk group. There was no change in muscle size and dynamic and isometric strength in the control-walk group. Indicators of muscle damage (creatine kinase and myoglobin) and resting anabolic hormones did not change in both groups. The results suggest that the combination of leg muscle blood flow restriction with slow-walk training induces muscle hypertrophy and strength gain, despite the minimal level of exercise intensity. Kaatsu-walk training may be a potentially useful method for promoting muscle hypertrophy, covering a wide range of the population, including the frail and elderly.Journal of Applied Physiology 06/2006; 100(5):1460-6. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Increasing the mechanical load on skeletal muscle results in increased expression of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), which is thought to be a critical step in the induction of muscle hypertrophy. To determine the role of the IGF-I receptor in load-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy, we utilized a transgenic mouse model (MKR) that expresses a dominant negative IGF-I receptor specifically in skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle hypertrophy was induced in the plantaris muscle using the functional overload (FO) model, a model which has previously been shown to induce significant elevations of IGF-I expression in skeletal muscle. Adult male wild-type (WT) and MKR mice were subjected to 0, 7 or 35 days of FO. In control or unchallenged animals, the plantaris mass was 11% greater in WT compared to the MKR mice (P < 0.05). After 7 days of FO, plantaris mass increased significantly by 26% and 62% in WT and MKR mice, respectively (P < 0.05). After 35 days of FO, WT and MKR mice demonstrated significant increases of 100% and 122%, respectively, in plantaris mass (P < 0.05). Further, at no time point was the degree of hypertrophy significantly different between the WT and MKR mice. Previous research suggests that IGF-I induces muscle growth through activation of the Akt-mTOR signalling pathway; therefore, we measured the phosphorylation status of Akt and p70(s6k) in the WT and MKR mice after 7 days of FO. Significant increases of approximately 100% and approximately 200% in Akt (Ser-473) and p70(s6k) (Thr-389) phosphorylation were measured in overloaded plantaris from both WT and MKR mice, respectively. Moreover, no differences were detected between the WT and MKR mice. These data suggest that increased mechanical load can induce muscle hypertrophy and activate the Akt and p70(s6k) independent of a functioning IGF-I receptor.The Journal of Physiology 01/2008; 586(1):283-91. · 4.38 Impact Factor