Introduction: An unresolved question in resistance training combined with blood flow restriction (BFR) is what percentage of estimated arterial occlusion pressure provides the most robust acute muscular response.
Methods: Forty participants were assigned to Experiments 1, 2, or 3. Each experiment completed exercise protocols differing by pressure, exercise load, and/or volume. Torque was measured pre- and postexercise, and muscle activation was measured pre- and during each set.
Results: Pressure and load did not affect torque greatly. Muscle activation increased in all conditions (P < 0.05) and was higher with 30% 1RM compared with 20% 1RM. Pressure appeared to increase muscle activation from 40% to 50% arterial occlusion [66% vs. 87% maximal voluntary contraction (30% 1RM)] but was not further increased with higher pressure.
Conclusion: Different levels of BFR may alter the acute muscular response to a degree, although higher pressures do not appear to augment these changes.
Keywords: KAATSU; amplitude; muscle hypertrophy; muscle strength; occlusion training.
© 2014 The Authors. Muscle & Nerve Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.