Low-load blood flow restriction elicits greater concentric strength than non-blood flow restriction resistance training but similar isometric strength and muscle size
European Journal of Applied Physiology
© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Purpose: Low-load venous blood flow restriction resistance training (RT + BFR) has been demonstrated to increase muscle strength to a greater degree than low-load non-BFR resistance training (RT) during isotonic training, but no previous investigations have examined RT + BFR versus RT during isokinetic training. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of 4 weeks of isokinetic low-load RT + BFR versus low-load RT on indices of muscle strength, muscle size, and neural adaptations. Methods: Thirty women (mean ± SD; 22 ± 2 years) participated in this investigation and were randomly assigned to 4 weeks of either RT + BFR (n = 10), RT (n = 10), or control (n = 10) group. Resistance training consisted of 75 reciprocal forearm flexion–extension isokinetic muscle actions of the forearm flexors performed at a velocity of 120°s−1. Results: Concentric peak torque increased to a greater extent for RT + BFR after 4 weeks (36.9%) compared to RT (25.8%), but there were similar increases in isometric torque (23.3–42.1%). For both RT + BFR and RT, there were similar increases in muscle cross-sectional area and muscle thickness of the biceps brachii after 2 weeks (11.3–14.3% and 12.4–12.9%, respectively) and 4 weeks (18.7–21.9% and 19.0–20.0%, respectively). There were similar increases in mechanomyographic amplitude, mechanomyographic mean power frequency, and electromyographic mean power frequency, but no changes in electromyographic amplitude for all conditions (including control). Conclusions: These findings indicated that low-load RT + BFR elicited greater increases in concentric strength than low-load RT, but elicited comparable increases in isometric strength and muscle size. There were also no differences in any of the EMG and MMG responses among conditions.