IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 16000: Comparative Perceptual, Affective, and Cardiovascular Responses between Resistance Exercise with and without Blood Flow Restriction in Older Adults (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Older adults and patients with chronic disease presenting with muscle weakness or musculoskeletal disorders may benefit from low-load resistance exercise (LLRE) with blood flow restriction (BFR). LLRE-BFR has been shown to increase muscle size, strength, and endurance comparable to traditional resistance exercise but without the use of heavy loads. However, potential negative effects from LLRE-BFR present as a barrier to participation and limit its wider use. This study examined the perceptual, affective, and cardiovascular responses to a bout of LLRE-BFR and compared the responses to LLRE and moderate-load resistance exercise (MLRE). Twenty older adults (64.3 ± 4.2 years) performed LLRE-BFR, LLRE and MLRE consisting of 4 sets of leg press and knee extension, in a randomised crossover design. LLRE-BFR was more demanding than LLRE and MLRE through increased pain (p ≤ 0.024, d = 0.8–1.4) and reduced affect (p ≤ 0.048, d = −0.5–−0.9). Despite this, LLRE-BFR was enjoyed and promoted a positive affective response (p ≤ 0.035, d = 0.5–0.9) following exercise comparable to MLRE. This study supports the use of LLRE-BFR for older adults and encourages future research to examine the safety, acceptability, and efficacy of LLRE-BFR in patients with chronic disease.