OBJECTIVES The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of weight training with controlled blood flow occlusion compared to conventional resistance training, in the ageing population. METHODS Twenty-three healthy female subjects (aged 40-55) were randomly assigned to one of three groups; low intensity blood flow restriction training (LI-BFRT) (n = 9), conventional resistance training (RT) (n = 7) and control (CON) (n = 7). The RT group trained between 65-70% one repetition maximum (1RM) and the LI-BFRT group trained at 30% 1RM while wearing pressure cuffs inflated to 100-120% of brachial systolic blood pressure (bSBP). Relative appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM/weight), isokinetic strength and power were tested pre and post 8 weeks of training. RESULTS Upper limb ASM/weight increased significantly in the LI-BFRT and RT groups (both p < 0.001). Only LI-BFRT showed significant difference compared with the CON group (p < 0.01). Lower limb ASM/weight improved in both the LI-BFRT (p < 0.01) and CON (p < 0.01) groups without group differences. Lower limb flexion strength increased in the LI-BFRT and RT groups (both p < 0.01), with differences between groups (p < 0.01, LI-BFRT > RT > CON). Only RT increased extension muscle strength (p < 0.05). Lower limb flexion and extension power improved following LI-BFRT (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively), significantly greater than RT in both flexion (p < 0.001) and extension (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS LI-BFRT may be as, if not more effective than RT for increasing muscle volume, strength and power in middle-aged women.
Conflicts of Interest