RESTRICTED BLOOD FLOW RESISTANCE TRAINING: THE OPTIMAL TRAINING PROTOCOL TO INCREASE MUSCLE MASS AND STRENGTH

Armin Paravlić, Mitja Geržević, Rado Pišot

Increases in muscle mass and strength are effects that are not easily achievable in clinical tests, since they require a prolonged period, no shorter than 2 months in duration, of high intense resistance training (HIRT) of ≤70 % of one repetition maximum (1RM). However, HIRT shouldn't be recommended for the different population, like elderly or convalescents, as it increases the risk of injury to the skeletal system, soft tissue, as well as the circulatory system.We conducted literature review with aim to investigate the effects of restricted blood flow resistance training (RBFRT) on strength and hypertrophy of skeletal muscle and to provide guidelines for its uses.Seven electronic databases were searched to identify relevant articles. Studies were deemed eligible for inclusion if they met the following criteria: (1) were an experimental trial published in an English-language refereed journal;(2) applied treatment method was RBFRT; and (3) monitored variables were strength and/or hypertrophy of skeletal muscle. A total of ten studies were identified as eligable for further analysis.The training should reflect the dynamic mode, with controled contracton, up to 1 second in duration for both concentric and eccentric phase of movement with 20% to 30% of 1RM. The best results are achieved when performing 3 to 4 working sets until the muscle failure, with short rest periods between, no longer than 60 seconds. Increase in muscle size was outstanding in all studies and ranged from 3.5 % to 7.8% after only one week of training but high frequency, 7 days per week and two training per day, and even up to 16% (P <0.01) after two weeks of training. Strength increase ranged from 6% to 26.6% after treatment, regard to training frequency and trained limb.This training program is suitable for athletes, convalescents and especially for older people which is not recommended to exercise with high intensity loads.

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