The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a practical blood flow restriction (BFR) training program on lower-body strength of high school weightlifters. Twenty-five students were divided into three groups. For six weeks, each group completed the same resistance training program with the exception of the parallel back squat exercise (2 days/week), which was different for each group. One group (HI) completed a traditional high load (≥65% 1RM) back squat protocol with three sets of low repetitions (≤10). The LO group completed the squat exercise using a relatively light load (≤30% 1RM) for one set of 30 repetitions and three sets of 15 with 30 seconds of rest between sets. The LO+BFR group followed the same protocol as LO, but did so with blood flow restricted. 1RM back squat tests were conducted prior to the start of the program and again upon conclusion, the values of which were used as the dependent measure. A 3 x 2 (group x time) repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant interaction (p=.043). Follow-up tests were conducted to explore the interaction. Paired-sample t-tests for each group indicated a significant increase in leg strength for the LO+BFR group (p=.005), but not for the HI (p=.142) or LO groups (p=1.00). This suggests that a practical BFR training program may be effective in increasing 1RM squat performance of high school students.
1Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, USA 66801
2Physical Education Department, Shawnee Heights High School, Tecumseh, Kansas, USA 66542
Correspondence Author: Paul E. Luebbers, Ph.D., CSCS*D, Emporia State University, 1 Kellogg Circle, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Campus Box 13, Emporia, Kansas 66801, Phone: (620) 341-5653, Fax: (620) 341-6400, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org