European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 109, Issue 4, pp 591–600 | Cite as

Increase in maximal oxygen uptake following 2-week walk training with blood flow occlusion in athletes

  • Saejong Park
  • Jong Kyung Kim
  • Hyun Min Choi
  • Hyun Gook Kim
  • Matthew D. Beekley
  • Hosung NhoEmail author
Original Article


Walk training with blood flow occlusion (OCC-walk) leads to muscle hypertrophy; however, cardiorespiratory endurance in response to OCC-walk is unknown. Ischemia enhances the adaptation to endurance training such as increased maximal oxygen uptake (\( V{\text{O}}_{{ 2_{ \max } }} \)) and muscle glycogen content. Thus, we investigated the effects of an OCC-walk on cardiorespiratory endurance, anaerobic power, and muscle strength in elite athletes. College basketball players participated in walk training with (n = 7) and without (n = 5) blood flow occlusion. Five sets of a 3-min walk (4–6 km/h at 5% grade) and a 1-min rest between the walks were performed twice a day, 6 days a week for 2 weeks. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures (groups × time) was utilized (P < 0.05). Interactions were found in \( V{\text{O}}_{{ 2_{ \max } }} \) (P = 0.011) and maximal minute ventilation (VEmax; P = 0.019). \( V{\text{O}}_{{ 2_{ \max } }} \) (11.6%) and VEmax (10.6%) were increased following the OCC-walk. For the cardiovascular adaptations of the OCC-walk, hemodynamic parameters such as stroke volume (SV) and heart rate (HR) at rest and during OCC-walk were compared between the first and the last OCC-walk sessions. Although no change in hemodynamics was found at rest, during the last OCC-walk session SV was increased in all five sets (21.4%) and HR was decreased in the third (12.3%) and fifth (15.0%) sets. With anaerobic power an interaction was found in anaerobic capacity (P = 0.038) but not in peak power. Anaerobic capacity (2.5%) was increased following the OCC-walk. No interaction was found in muscle strength. In conclusion, the 2-week OCC-walk significantly increases \( V{\text{O}}_{{ 2_{ \max } }} \) and VEmax in athletes. The OCC-walk training might be used in the rehabilitation for athletes who intend to maintain or improve endurance.


Elite athletes Hemodynamics Cardiorespiratory fitness Anaerobic power Ischemic endurance Blood flow restriction 



The authors thank the student athletes who participated in the study. We also thank the students in the Exercise Prescription Laboratory at Kyung Hee University for support in supervising the training sessions. This study was supported by a research grant from Kyung Hee University in 2009 (KHU-20080657).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saejong Park
    • 1
  • Jong Kyung Kim
    • 2
  • Hyun Min Choi
    • 2
  • Hyun Gook Kim
    • 2
  • Matthew D. Beekley
    • 3
  • Hosung Nho
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Sport ScienceKorea Institute of Sport ScienceSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Graduate School of Physical EducationKyung Hee UniversityYonginSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA

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