Darden College of Education & Professional Studies


Ph.D. Education - Human Movement Sciences - Health & Sport Pedagogy

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Blood flow restriction training (BFRT) is the occlusion of blood flow during resistance exercise to elicit enhanced skeletal muscle hypertrophy while lifting lower weights compared to standard resistance training. Research has shown BFR with low intensity resistance training to elicit similar results in skeletal muscle hypertrophy when compared to higher intensity resistance exercise. Although BFR demonstrates similar levels of skeletal muscle hypertrophy, no research has examined the effects of BFR exercise on brachial artery endothelial function which has been demonstrated to be closely linked to coronary artery endothelial function and thus predisposition to developing atherosclerosis. Due to the effect on endothelial function, this type of training modality may not be suitable for individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD) or those at a greater risk for developing CVD. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of blood flow restriction training on endothelial function. Subjects were 9 healthy males, 23.9±1.2 years, 27.7±1.2 kg/m 2 who regularly participate in resistance training exercises at least 2 times per week. Subjects performed 3 sets of bicep curls at 30% of their 1 repetition maximum to failure with a blood pressure cuff at 80% arterial occlusion pressure. Endothelial function was assessed by flow mediated dilation performed before, immediately after, and one hour post BFR. These data indicate BFR exercise does not alter endothelial function in healthy males. Given that studies have demonstrated that an acute bout of traditional resistance training increases flow mediated dilation, BFR may be impairing the ability of exercise to improve endothelial function. Future studies will be aimed at examining plasma markers of vascular dysregulation, such as endothelin-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule in response to BFR to determine potential mechanisms for the blunted flow mediated dilation.





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The Impact of Blood Flow Restrictive Exercise on Endothelial Function



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