In December 2017 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess the effect of a high load resistance exercise and a low load blood flow restricted resistance exercise on muscle strength, physical function and quality of life in older adults at risk of mobility limitations. Thirty-six individuals (average age 75.6 years) were assigned to either high-load resistance or low-load blood flow restricted resistance exercises twice per week for 12weeks. A control group performed light upper body resistance and flexibility training. Muscle strength, 400-m walking speed, and quality of life were assessed before, midway and after training. Results showed that muscle strength improved during both exercise programmes when compared to the control group. Those undertaking the high load resistance exercise had more pronounced strength gains than those in the low-load blood flow restricted resistance group after 6-weeks although after 12-weeks the strength gains were similar. However, despite this improvement in muscle strength there was no improvement in walking speed or quality of life.
Cook SB et al. Blood flow restricted resistance training in older adults at risk of mobility limitations. Exp Gerontol. 2017 Dec 1;99:138-145