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Optimizing strength training for hypertrophy: A periodization of classic resistance training and blood-flow restriction training
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


The main aim of this study was to investigate if a combination of classic resistance training and blood flow restricted resistance exercise (BFRE) training would result in greater increases in quadriceps muscle growth compared with other strength training studies. The second aim was to investigate if there would be any difference in muscle hypertrophy between men and women after the training intervention.



Twenty untrained subjects (10 males and 10 female) were recruited to participate in a 10-week unilateral resistance training intervention. Sixteen subjects completed the training intervention. After two familiarization sessions subjects performed three sessions per week in leg press and leg extension, except for week 4 and 8 were subjects performed five BFRE training sessions Monday to Friday. All subjects performed a one repetition maximum test in leg press and leg extension pre and post the training intervention. Ultrasound screening was performed pre and post training intervention to measure muscle thickness in m. vastus lateralis (VL).



The 10-week intervention resulted in a significant increase of VL muscle thickness by 15,1 % ± 7,6 (p ≤ 0,01). Both men and women increased in VL muscle thickness, men (n=7) by 15,4 % ± 9,3 (p ≤ 0,01) and women (n=9) by 14,8 % ± 6,0 (p ≤ 0,01), with no difference between genders. Maximal strength increased for the entire group in the leg press by 59,1 % ± 27,4 (p ≤ 0,01) and in the leg extension by 19,8 % ± 13,1 (p ≤ 0,01). Men had an increase of 58,1 % ± 18,0 (p ≤ 0,01) and women with 60,3 % ± 32,8 (p ≤ 0,01) in the leg press. In the leg extension women and men increased their maximal strength by 23,3 % ± 7,4 (p ≤ 0,01) respectively 17,0 % ± 14,4 (p = 0,051).



Our unique training protocol resulted in a superior increase in muscle growth in comparison with most other strength training studies. Our result can be converted to an increase of 17,3 % (0,25 % per day) in VL muscle CSA, which is much greater than the mean increase of 0,11 % per day reported in a large meta-analysis (Wernbom, Augustsson & Thomeé 2007).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 36 p.
Examensarbete, 2015:114
Keyword [en]
muscle, hypertrophy, resistance, training, blood flow restricted exercise, quadriceps
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4373OAI: diva2:910086
Educational program
Sports Science and Coaching
Available from: 2016-03-08 Created: 2016-03-08 Last updated: 2016-03-08Bibliographically approved

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