Eliciting Post-Activation Potentiation Using Blood Flow Restriction Technique: A Preliminary Look


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Post-activation potentiation (PAP) describes a phenomenon that occurs in muscles that is commonly used to achieve maximum performance of a power-based movement, such as a vertical jump. PAP is traditionally achieved through physiological mechanisms that occur from high load, biomechanically similar exercise, completed before the power movement intended to be maximized. Blood flow restriction (BFR) is a training method wherein a pressure cuff is used to occlude blood flow to a limb during exercise. PAP has been studied extensively, though limited research has introduced a convenient way to make PAP accessible to athletes for immediate performance improvement. BFR resistance training with low-load has been shown to mimic the training effects of high-load resistance exercise. Current research combining the use of BFR to elicit PAP is very limited and needs to be examined further. It is theorized that BFR may be able to induce PAP by means of its simulation of high-load resistance exercise. Recreationally trained individuals may also benefit from this for personal use and may display a different PAP response. Methods: The proposed study investigates PAP effects on vertical jump height, following the completion of body weight (BW) squats with BFR among recreationally and competitively trained individuals. In two separate sessions participants completed BW squats with and without BFR, allowing participant characteristics to be controlled. Vertical jump height (VJH) was measured before and after each condition using a Vertical Challenger Jump Unit. Jump gain (JG) was calculated by subtracting the pre-squat VJH from the post-squat VJH and compared using a 2-factor with replication ANOVA. Results: No significant differences in jump gain were found. Conclusion: The results indicate less promising ability of BFR to elicit PAP, however, further investigation is needed.



Post-Activation Potentiation, PAP, Blood Flow Restriction, BFR, Vertical Jump, Complex Training, Body Weight Exercise, Recreationally Trained, Athletes