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Effect of Aerobic Training with Blood Flow Restriction on Strength and Hypertrophy: A Meta-analysis.

The objective of this meta-analysis is to compare the effects on muscle strength and hypertrophy of low and high-intensity aerobic training with BFR (LI-BFR and HI-BFR) versus low and high-intensity aerobic training without BFR (LI and HI). The search was performed in five databases, by two independent researchers, and the terms and keywords used to optimize the searches were related to blood flow restriction and aerobic training. All studies were evaluated for methodological quality using the PEDro scale and for quality of evidence using the GRADE system. Meta-analyses were conducted using RevMan software. After data extraction, 11 studies met all eligibility criteria and were included in the systematic review. The results of the overall analysis between LI-BFR vs. LI showed a significant difference in muscle strength of knee extensors; for hypertrophy, LI was superior to LI-BFR with clinical relevance. Comparing HI-BFR vs. HI there was no superiority for muscle strength. In conclusion, for strength gains very low-quality evidence was found to support no superiority between LI-BFR and HI-BFR compared to LI and HI, respectively. For muscle hypertrophy, superiority of LI was found compared to LI-BFR, with a very low level of evidence.

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