The perceptual responses to occluded exercise

Int J Sports Med. 2011 Mar;32(3):181-4. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1268472. Epub 2010 Dec 16.


The purpose was to determine repetitions to failure and perceptual responses to exercise with and without occlusion. 15 subjects participated in a randomized crossover study of 3 trials. The first determined one repetition maximum (1RM) on the leg extension. Subjects were then assigned to an occlusion (OCC) or control (CON) group. After trial 2, subjects crossed over to the opposite trial. Knee wraps (KW) were placed around the upper thigh of each leg during OCC. Subjects completed 2 sets of leg extensions to failure at 30% 1RM, with 30 s rest between sets. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and pain (P) were taken following each set. Data were analyzed using paired sample t-tests with an alpha level of 0.01. OCC repetitions were lower for the first and second set compared to CON (p=0.001). Total work completed was significantly lower with OCC compared to CON (p=0.001). OCC RPE were higher for both the first (p=0.01) and second set (p=0.003) compared to CON. P was not different following one set but was higher with OCC over CON following the second (p=0.009). In conclusion, KW provide an OCC stimulus allowing failure to occur sooner. However, the higher perceptual responses with OCC may limit its application to the highly motivated.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Arthralgia / etiology*
  • Arthralgia / pathology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Knee / blood supply*
  • Knee / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Perception
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology*
  • Young Adult