Functional training with blood occlusion influences muscle quality indices in older adults

Sima Bigdeli, Mohammad Hasan Dehghaniyan, Sadegh Amani-Shalamzari, Hamid Rajabi, Daniel E Gahreman
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2020 May 16, 90: 104110

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine if functional training with blood flow restriction (BFR) has a greater effect on muscle quality indices and performance of older men when compared to functional training without BFR.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty men (67.7 ± 5.8 years) were randomly assigned to one of the following three groups: functional training (FT), functional training with blood flow restriction (FTBFR), and control (C). Participants in both experimental groups trained three sessions per week for six weeks. The training program included eleven body exercises, which were performed in 2-4 sets of 10 repetitions. FTBFR group wore pneumatic cuffs on their extremities that begun with 50 % of estimated arterial occlusion pressure and increased by 10 % every 2 weeks. Before and after the intervention period, subjects completed a series of tests to assess physical performances along with changes serum muscle quality indices.

RESULTS: A significant decrease in serum C-terminal Agrin Fragment (CAF) levels were observed in FT and FTBFR groups (p ≤ 0.05). In addition, the levels of CAF in FTBFR group was significantly lower compared to control group. Moreover, the circulatory levels of N-terminal propeptide type III collagen (P3NP) were reduced significantly in FT and C groups (p ≤ 0.05) but did not statistically differ from baseline in FTBFR group (p > 0.05). These changes were accompanied by significant improvements in dynamic strength, flexibility, static, and dynamic balance in both training groups (p ≤ 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The finding showed greater improvements in muscle quality indices and functional performance of older men when exercises performed with BFR.

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