Journal of Trainology



January 2022; Vol. 11, No. 1: Pages 1-6

An integrated application of practical blood flow restriction in resistance trained individuals

Nic Martinez, John O'Halloran, Marcus W. Kilpatrick, Bill I. Campbell, Samuel L. Buckner


Practical blood flow restriction (PBFR) training has been used as a training technique to induce muscular strength and hypertrophy gains while utilizing lighter loads [≤ 40% one repetition maximum (1RM)]. It is unclear if PBFR can be incorporated into traditional training programs to alleviate some exposure to heavy loads. Objective: Compare the impact of a traditional resistance training with the addition of PBFR (TRAD+PBFR) to traditional resistance training without PBFR (TRAD) on maximal bench press and leg press strength. Design and Methods: Participants performed full body training for 4 weeks (2-3x/week). PBFR group performed 62% of sets blood flow restricted at 30% 1RM while the TRAD group performed all sets at an intensity of >70% 1RM. Results: Twenty-one resistance trained individuals (≥ 1 year resistance training) completed the study. For bench press strength, there was no group (TRAD+PBFR vs. TRAD) by time (pre vs. post) interaction (BF10=0.32). However, there was a main effect for time (BF10=24.04). The TRAD+PBFR group increased strength from 99±29 to 106±23 kg and the traditional training condition increased from 111±27 to 117±24kg. For leg press strength, there was no interaction (BF10=0.83). However, there was a main effect for time, with both conditions increasing strength. For the PBFR group strength increased from 372±61 to 423±76 kg and the RT group increased strength from 354±87 to 434±96kg. Conclusion: TRAD+PBFR elicited similar strength adaptations compared to TRAD. PBFR may provide a means to exposing the muscle and connective tissue to less overall mechanical stress when incorporated into a traditional heavy resistance training program.

Received September 5, 2021; accepted December 24, 2021