The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare the effects of two types of resistance training protocols on the adaptation of skeletal muscle strength in older men. Thirty-seven healthy male subjects (50–64 years) participated in this study. Subjects were assigned to one of three groups: high-intensity (80% 1-RM) resistance training (RT80); low-intensity (20% 1-RM) resistance training with vascular restriction (VR-RT20); and a control group (CON) that performed no exercise. Subjects in both exercise groups performed three upper body (at 80% 1-RM) and two lower body exercises either with (20% 1-RM) or without (80% 1-RM) vascular restriction three times a week for 6 weeks. As expected, the RT80 and VR-RT20 groups had significantly (p < 0.01) greater strength increases in all upper body and leg press exercises compared with CON, however, absolute strength gains for the RT80 and VR-RT20 groups were similar (p > 0.05). It should be noted that the percentage increase in leg extension strength for the RT80 group was significantly greater than that for both the VR-RT20 (p < 0.05) and CON groups (p < 0.01), while the percentage increase in leg extension strength for the VR-RT20 group was significantly (p < 0.01) greater than that for the CON. The findings suggested that leg muscle strength improves with the low-load vascular restriction training and the VR-RT20 training protocol was almost as effective as the RT80 training protocol for increasing muscular strength in older men.
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The authors would like to thank the participants for their commitment and effort during the study. The authors are also grateful to Lee Gregg and Adrien Ferguson for their help and support during training and Dr. Travis Beck for his editorial suggestions.
Communicated by Jean-René Lacour, Susan A. Ward.
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Karabulut, M., Abe, T., Sato, Y. et al. The effects of low-intensity resistance training with vascular restriction on leg muscle strength in older men. Eur J Appl Physiol 108, 147 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-009-1204-5
- Blood flow restriction
- Exercise volume