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  • Author or Editor: M.G. Bemben x
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Blood flow restriction (BFR) combined with low load resistance training has been shown to result in muscle hypertrophy similar to that observed with higher loads. However, not all studies have found BFR efficacious, possibly due to methodological differences. It is presently unclear whether there are differences between cuffs of similar size (5 cm) but different material (nylon vs. elastic). The purpose was to determine if there are differences in repetitions to fatigue and perceptual ratings of exertion (RPE) and discomfort between narrow elastic and narrow nylon cuffs. Sixteen males and females completed three sets of BFR knee extension exercise in a randomized cross-over design using either elastic or nylon restrictive cuffs applied at the proximal thigh. There were no differences in repetitions to fatigue (marker of blood flow) or perceptual ratings between narrow elastic and narrow nylon cuffs. This data suggests that either elastic or nylon cuffs of the same width should cause similar degrees of BFR at the same pressure during resistance exercise.

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Authors: Robert Thiebaud, J.P. Loenneke, C.A. Fahs, D. Kim, X. Ye, T. Abe, K. Nosaka and M.G. Bemben

Discrepancies exist whether blood flow restriction (BFR) exacerbates exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). This study compared low-intensity eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors with and without BFR for changes in indirect markers of muscle damage. Nine untrained young men (18–26 y) performed low-intensity (30% 1RM) eccentric contractions (2-s) of the elbow flexors with one arm assigned to BFR and the other arm without BFR. EIMD markers of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) torque, range of motion (ROM), upper arm circumference, muscle thickness and muscle soreness were measured before, immediately after, 1, 2, 3, and 4 days after exercise. Electromyography (EMG) amplitude of the biceps brachii and brachioradialis were recorded during exercise. EMG amplitude was not significantly different between arms and did not significantly change from set 1 to set 4 for the biceps brachii but increased for the brachioradialis (p ≤ 0.05, 12.0% to 14.5%) when the conditions were combined. No significant differences in the changes in any variables were found between arms. MVC torque decreased 7% immediately post-exercise (p ≤ 0.05), but no significant changes in ROM, circumference, muscle thickness and muscle soreness were found. These results show that BFR does not affect EIMD by low-intensity eccentric contractions.

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