John Lewis, Andrew LeMense, Samuel Gomez, Lee Winchester. The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that blood flow restriction (BFR), when used during high load lower body exercise, can increase blood lactate concentration when compared to a control group. Existing research has not, however, investigated the effects of BFR on high load, upper body exercise. Hence, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of high load continuous BFR bench press on blood lactate concentrations. METHODS: 8 resistance trained males ([mean ± SD] height: 180.1 ± 8.3 cm, weight: 86.3 ± 10.3 kg, age: 24.5 ± 4.9 years) completed 4 sets of 4 reps, with 2 minutes rest between sets, of the barbell bench press at 75% 1RM during two exercise sessions, separated by 7-14 days. The exercise was completed with BFR cuffs applied to both arms and inflated to 50% arterial occlusion pressure (AOP) as an experimental session, and a control session was completed without BFR. Blood lactate concentration measurements, measured using finger prick lactate samples, were taken. The measurements were taken both prior to beginning the warm-up for each exercise session, and immediately following the completion of the last set of the bench press. Capillary blood samples were drawn from the fingertip and examined using a Nova Biomedical Lactate Plus and corresponding Nova Biomedical Lactate Strips. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA (time x condition) with a post hoc Bonferroni correction was used to assess differences in lactate concentrations between conditions. RESULTS: There were no significant effects on blood lactate found (p > 0.05). Although, the mean change (mean ± SD) for the control group (1.68 ± 1.03mmol/L) was lower than that of the experimental group (2.00 ± 1.20mmol/L). As expected, there was a significant (p=0.02) effect for “time,” however there were no significant effects for “condition” or “time x condition” (p > 0.05). Partial eta squared effect sizes for “condition” and the interaction between “time” and “condition” were 0.118 and 0.182 respectively. Estimated marginal means for condition show that BFR condition was 0.193 ± 0.2mmol/L higher than the non BFR condition, however this value is not significant (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: Based on current data, BFR demonstrates a trend towards increasing blood lactate concentrations when compared to non-BFR high load exercise, but the change in lactate concentration is not statistically significant compared to high load exercise without BFR.

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