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Using blood flow restriction strategies to manage training stress for athletes

Scott, B.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-2484-4019 (2014) Using blood flow restriction strategies to manage training stress for athletes. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 22 (6). pp. 84-90.

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Traditional guidelines state that substantial muscular development requires resistance training using at least 70% of 1-repetition maximum (1RM). However, recent evidence suggests that low-load resistance training (20-40% 1RM) combined with moderate blood flow restriction (BFR) to the exercising musculature can also result in significant improvements in muscle size and strength. While BFR techniques have been predominantly researched using untrained or clinical populations, emerging evidence supports the use of low-load BFR training for muscular development in well-trained athletes. The purpose of this paper was to discuss how to implement BFR for athletes, and highlight how to design effective BFR training programs. Furthermore, BFR methods to either supplement or replace some traditional resistance training sessions are described. This has important applications for monitoring the total stress of training, especially when considering that BFR exercise does not appear to cause the muscle damage or prolonged decrements in contractile function that are commonly reported after heavy resistance training. Low-load BFR training can limit the mechanical stress on an athlete’s body, and potentially avoid overtraining symptoms. Additionally, low-load BFR training can be used to provide a physiological overload stimulus for anabolic responses when combined with an athlete’s normal resistance training program.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Australian Strength and Conditioning Association
Copyright: © 2014 Australian Strength and Conditioning Association
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