Blood-Flow Restriction Resistance Exercise Promotes Lower Pain and Ratings of Perceived Exertion Compared with Either High- or Low-Intensity Resistance Exercise Performed to Muscular Failure
Lixandrão, M.E.; Roschel, H.; Ugrinowitsch, C.; Miquelini, M.; Alvarez, I.F.; Libardi, C.A.
Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 28(7): 706-710
ISSN/ISBN: 1543-3072 PMID: 30040033 DOI: 10.1123/jsr.2018-0030
Given the comparable muscle hypertrophy constantly observed between blood-flow restriction exercise (BFR-RE) and conventional resistance exercise, understanding their particular rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and pain may help to better prescribe exercise at a low-discomfort level, thus increasing its feasibility. Randomized crossover study. To compare the RPE and pain response between conventional high- (HI-RE) and low-intensity resistance exercise (LI-RE) protocols to failure with a nonmuscular failure LI-RE associated with BFR-RE. A total of 12 men (age: 20  y; body mass: 73.5  kg; height: 174  cm). Four sets of 45° leg-press exercises in 3 different conditions: (1) BFR-RE (15 repetitions; 30% 1-repetition maximum), (2) HI-RE (80% 1-repetition maximum to muscular failure), and (3) LI-RE (30% 1-repetition maximum to muscular failure). RPE and pain were assessed immediately before exercise session and after the end of each of the 4 sets. RPE and pain levels increased throughout the exercise sets for all RE protocols (all, Ps < .05). HI-RE and LI-RE protocols showed similar increase in RPE and pain levels during all exercise sets (P < .05); however, both protocols demonstrated higher RPE and pain response compared with BFR-RE after each of the 4 sets (all Ps < .05 between-group comparisons). Our results demonstrated that both HI-RE and LI-RE to muscular failure resulted in similar and significant increases in RPE and pain levels, regardless of exercise intensity. In addition, nonmuscular failure BFR-RE also increased RPE and pain response, however, to a lower extent compared with either HI-RE or LI-RE.