Resistance exercise (RE) with blood flow restriction (BFR) is recognized as a beneficial strategy in increasing skeletal muscle mass and strength. However, the effects of BFR on changes in perceptual parameters, particularly those related to exercise adherence, induced by RE are not completely understood. In this study, we examined the exercise adherence-related perceptual responses to low-load BFR-RE. Sixteen young males performed both BFR and non-BFR (NBFR) sessions in a crossover design. The bilateral knee extensor low-load RE was performed with a standard BFR-RE protocol, consisting of four sets (total 75 repetitions), using 20% of one-repetition maximum. BFR-RE was performed with 200 mmHg pressure cuffs placed around the proximal region of the thighs. NBFR-RE was performed without pressure cuffs. The ratings of perceived exertion and leg discomfort measured using the Borg's Scales were higher for BFR-RE session than for NBFR-RE session (both p < 0.001 for interaction effect). The Feeling Scale-measured affect and Task Motivation Scale-measured task motivation were lower for BFR-RE session than for NBFR-RE session (both p < 0.05 for interaction effect); by contrast, the Numerical Rating Scale-measured perceived pain was higher for BFR-RE session than for NBFR-RE session (p < 0.001 for interaction effect). The Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale-measured enjoyment immediately after RE was lower with BFR than with NBFR (p < 0.001). These findings suggest that BFR exacerbates the exercise adherence-related perceptual responses to low-load RE in young males. Therefore, further studies are needed to develop effective strategies that minimize the BFR-RE-induced negative effects on perceptual responses.
Keywords: affect; enjoyment; perceived exertion; task motivation.
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