Paper Authors and Title

Rachel Lynch (South East Technological University), Aubrey Storey, “The Influence of Blood Flow Restriction on the Time to Reach Oxygen Uptake Kinetics Between Males and Females”



Blood flow restriction (BFR) to exercising muscles by application of a tourniquet to the limb induces a local hypoxic environment and metabolic stress. Training with BFR has been shown to enhance muscle circulation and work capacity (Centner et al., 2018). However, it is not known how BFR affects the muscle oxygen uptake kinetics (O2 kinetics). Furthermore, the physiological impact of BFR between gender remains unclear.


Sixteen healthy college students (22 ± 2 years) (8 males, 8 females) performed three stages of the standard Bruce treadmill protocol, once with sham BFR and once with BFR with cuff pressure at 80% of their arterial occlusion pressure. Statistical analysis was determined using a one-way ANOVA, comparing the fast component of O2 uptake kinetics which was determined as the time to reach 63% of steady state O2 uptake.


Oxygen uptake kinetics were not different between males and females without BFR (9 ± p=0.89), but were slower for both males and females with BFR (p=0.00). However, females took significantly longer to reach 63% steady state O2 uptake in the BFR trial (77 ± p=0.02).


Metabolic stress at the onset of exercise with BFR is greater in females compared to males. This may suggest differential approaches to BFR exercise training between males and females. Perhaps females would achieve greater physiological adaptation to short duration interval exercise with BFR, which requires further investigation. With a small sample size, further research is also needed to verify these conclusions.