A Comparison of Blood Flow Restriction and Traditional Resistance Training to Investigate the Differing Adaptations and the Relative Importance of Metabolic Markers
In the literature, there is inconsistency comparing blood flow restriction (BFR) to traditional resistance training (TRT) and thus, what differs between BFR and TRT is not well known. Modulators of BFR have not been looked at in detail, particularly when BFR and TRT are matched to failure. In this study, TRT was compared with suprasystolic and subsystolic levels of BFR over an 8-week training study by matching all groups to failure. Oxygenation and lactate were analyzed to determine the relationships these modulators have on the training outcomes. Similar strength, hypertrophy and endurance changes were found across all groups. TRT had lower oxygenation than the BFR groups with no difference in blood lactate between groups. Significant increases in main outcomes after training were: 1RM +24%, muscle thickness +12%, and muscular endurance +14%. Minor associations found where oxygenation negatively correlated with changes in hypertrophy and lactate positively correlated with changes in strength.