Postexercise blood flow restriction does not enhance muscle hypertrophy induced by multiple-set high-load resistance exercise

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To test the applicability of postexercise blood flow restriction (PEBFR) in practical training programmes, we investigated whether PEBFR enhances muscle hypertrophy induced by multiple-set high-load resistance exercise (RE). Seven men completed an eight-week RE programme for knee extensor muscles. Employing a within-subject design, one leg was subjected to RE + PEBFR, whereas contralateral leg to RE only. On each exercise session, participants performed three sets of unilateral knee extension exercise at approximately 70% of their one-repetition maximum for RE leg first, and then performed three sets for RE + PEBFR leg. Immediately after completion of the third set, the proximal portion of the RE + PEBFR leg was compressed with an air-pressure cuff for 5 min at a pressure ranging from 100 to 150 mmHg. If participants could perform 10 repetitions for three sets in two consecutive exercise sessions, the work load was increased by 5% at the next exercise session. Muscle thickness and strength of knee extensor muscles were measured before and after the eight-week training period and after the subsequent eight-week detraining period. There was a main effect of time but no condition × time interaction or main effect of condition for muscle thickness and strength. Both muscle thickness and strength increased after the training period independent of the condition. This result suggests that PEBFR would not be an effective training method at least in an early phase of adaptation to high-load resistance exercise.

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