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: It is generally believed that optimal hypertrophic and strength gains are induced through moderate- or high-intensity resistance training, equivalent to at least 60 % of an individual's 1-repetition maximum (1RM). However, recent evidence suggests that similar adaptations are facilitated when low-intensity resistance exercise (~20-50 % 1RM) is combined with blood flow restriction (BFR) to the working muscles. Although the mechanisms underpinning these responses are not yet firmly established, it appears that localized hypoxia created by BFR may provide an anabolic stimulus by enhancing the metabolic and endocrine response, and increase cellular swelling and signalling function following resistance exercise. Moreover, BFR has also been demonstrated to increase type II muscle fibre recruitment during exercise. However, inappropriate implementation of BFR can result in detrimental effects, including petechial haemorrhage and dizziness. Furthermore, as BFR is limited to the limbs, the muscles of the trunk are unable to be trained under localized hypoxia. More recently, the use of systemic hypoxia via hypoxic chambers and devices has been investigated as a novel way to stimulate similar physiological responses to resistance training as BFR techniques. While little evidence is available, reports indicate that beneficial adaptations, similar to those induced by BFR, are possible using these methods. The use of systemic hypoxia allows large groups to train concurrently within a hypoxic chamber using multi-joint exercises. However, further scientific research is required to fully understand the mechanisms that cause augmented muscular changes during resistance exercise with a localized or systemic hypoxic stimulus.Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.). 04/2014; 44(8).
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ABSTRACT: Combining blood flow occlusion, Kaatsu, with a daily treadmill-walking program increases muscular strength in young, healthy men. Research using a similar training program in older adults is lacking. The present case study examined functional activity and body impairment responses to a daily walking program with Kaatsu in an older adult. The 67-year-old female participant walked at 0.85 m/s for five 2-min bouts with 1 min of rest between bouts, five times/week for 8 weeks with lower extremity Kaatsu cuffs inflated. Outcomes (Timed Up and Go, the Six Minute Walk Test, Ten Meter Walk Test, lower extremity strength measures) were collected at baseline, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. Vitals were measured at the beginning and end of each walking session. Descriptives were calculated over time to determine the temporal effects of the Kaatsu-walk training program. All assessments, Timed Up and Go, Six Minute Walk Test, Ten Meter Walk Test, and lower extremity strength measures, increased 18.2% up to 46.8% from baseline to post-test. Data suggested that the 8-week Kaatsu-walk training program increases outcomes in an older adult.Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics 02/2013; 31(1).
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ABSTRACT: Light-load exercise training with blood flow restriction (BFR) increases muscle strength and size. However, the hemodynamics of BFR exercise appear elevated compared with non-BFR exercise. This questions the suitability of BFR in special/clinical populations. Nevertheless, hemodynamics of standard prescription protocols for BFR and traditional heavy-load exercise have not been compared. We investigated the hemodynamics of two common BFR exercise methods and two traditional resistance exercises. Twelve young males completed four unilateral elbow flexion exercise trials in a balanced, randomized crossover design: (a) heavy load [HL; 80% one-repetition maximum (1-RM)]; (b) light load (LL; 20% 1-RM); and two other light-load trials with BFR applied (c) continuously at 80% resting systolic blood pressure (BFR-C) or (d) intermittently at 130% resting systolic blood pressure (BFR-I). Hemodynamics were measured at baseline, during exercise, and for 60-min post-exercise. Exercising heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output, and rate-pressure product were significantly greater for HL and BFR-I compared with LL. The magnitude of hemodynamic stress for BFR-C was between that of HL and LL. These data show reduced hemodynamics for continuous low-pressure BFR exercise compared with intermittent high-pressure BFR in young healthy populations. BFR remains a potentially viable method to improve muscle mass and strength in special/clinical populations.Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 07/2014; · 3.21 Impact Factor