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Perceptual responses to continuous versus intermittent blood flow restriction exercise: A randomized controlled trial.

  • Freitas, Eduardo D S1
  • Miller, Ryan M2
  • Heishman, Aaron D2
  • Aniceto, Rodrigo R3
  • Silva, Julio G C4
  • Bemben, Michael G2
  • 1 Department of Health and Exercise Science, Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA. Electronic address: [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Health and Exercise Science, Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA.
  • 3 Department of Physical Education, Kinanthropometry and Human Performance Laboratory, Federal University of Paraíba, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 4 Study and Research Group in Biomechanics and Psychophysiology of Exercise, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Rio Grande do Norte, Currais Novos, RN, Brazil. , (Brazil)
Published Article
Physiology & behavior
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.112717
PMID: 31629764


We investigated the perceptual responses to resistance exercise (RE) with continuous and intermittent blood flow restriction (BFR). Fourteen males randomly completed the following exercise conditions: low-load RE with continuous BFR (cBFR), low-load RE with intermittent BFR (iBFR), low-load RE without BFR (LI), and traditional high-load RE (HI). Participants completed 4 sets of 30-15-15-15 repetitions of bilateral leg press and knee extension exercises during the low-load conditions, at 20% of one-repetition maximum (1-RM), a 1.5‑sec metronome-controlled pace, with a 1-min rest interval between sets; HI consisted of 4 sets of 10 repetitions of the same exercises, at 70% 1-RM, with the same pace and rest interval. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and discomfort were assessed using psychometric scales before exercise and after each set. RPE displayed no significant differences (p > 0.05) between the BFR conditions for either exercise. Additionally, both BFR conditions elicited significantly (p < 0.05) greater RPE than LI and significantly (p <0.05) lower RPE than HI during both exercises. Rating of discomfort displayed no significant differences between BFR conditions during the first two sets of leg press; however, cBFR evoked greater discomfort compared to iBFR during the last two sets. There were no significant (p > 0.05) differences observed between conditions during the knee extension exercise. Rating of discomfort was similar between the BFR and HI conditions and each were significantly greater than LI during both exercises. Therefore, cBFR and iBFR seem to produce similar perceptual responses, which are greater than LI and lower than HI, but similar in regards to discomfort. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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