T Nation

For the Rocket Scientist: Occlusion in Training

So, my question is could you produce Occlusion through simply performing a intense 2 min isometric contraction of the muscle group before training it? And, do the effects of occlusion produce any time of real benefit to muscle size or just a short term ‘super pump’?


Acute vascular occlusion in horses: effects on skeletal muscle size and blood flow
Authors: T Abe1; CF Kearns2; HC Manso Filho3; Y Sato4; M Sleeper5; KH McKeever3

Source: Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology, November 2004, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 239-243(5)

Publisher: CABI Publishing

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate whether acute vascular occlusion was safe and if it would result in changes to limb muscle size in horses. Six healthy, unfit Standardbred mares were used. Horses (standing at rest) wore an occlusion cuff at the most proximal position of the left forelimb. The right forelimb was used as control. An occlusion pressure of 200 mmHg was set for 5 min followed by a 2 min recovery. Three sets of occlusions were given to each horse. Muscle thickness was measured using B-mode ultrasound. The circumference of the forelimb and first phalanx was measured using a flexible tape measure. Pulsed-wave Doppler was performed on the radialis artery with a 5?10 MHz mechanical transducer at baseline and at each occlusion. Peak flow velocity (PFV) and the flow velocity integral (FVI) were measured each time. Mid-forelimb, but not first phalanx, girth was increased (P<0.05) in the occluded but not in the control leg following occlusion. Extensor and flexor muscle thickness was increased (P<0.05) in the occluded but not in the control leg. There were no changes (P>0.05) in PFV or FVI at any measurement time point. Acute vascular occlusion may be a suitable and safe model for studying muscle hypertrophy in horses.

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[quote]CRisenhoover wrote:
So, my question is could you produce Occlusion through simply performing a intense 2 min isometric contraction of the muscle group before training it?[/quote]

That’d fatigue you like crazy and impair the following workout. It’s just not functional right now.

BTW-The Japanese love this stuff…
Takarada et al., 2000
The results suggest that resistance exercise at an intensity even lower than 50% 1 RM is effective in inducing muscular hypertrophy and concomitant increase in strength when combined with vascular occlusion.

Cheers

could this be a study to support the effects of posing and its supposed hardening effects that i have heard christian talk about?

I don’t think there is any relationship between posing and vascular occlusion. Posing is just hard isometric contractions. Vascular occlusion means cutting off or reducing the blood supply to the muscle while it is being trained. Blood supply to the muscle is not cut off while posing or other types of isometrics.

so what about continous tension movements - I was under the impression from other articles online that contraction induced occlusion. Perhaps this is the reason that TUT can be effective as part of the equation for gaining mass - Occlusion induced through continous tension movements in the 40-60 second range?

[quote]CRisenhoover wrote:
so what about continous tension movements - I was under the impression from other articles online that contraction induced occlusion. Perhaps this is the reason that TUT can be effective as part of the equation for gaining mass - Occlusion induced through continous tension movements in the 40-60 second range?[/quote]

Where did you read these articles? I’m not an expert so I could easily be wrong.

I’m not clear what you mean by continuous tension movements. Are you only refering to sustained isometrics or do you mean any type of prolonged contraction?

I do remember seeing a presentation on vascular occlusion once, I will see if I can find the presentation notes.

"Prolonged continuous contraction of skeletal muscles inhibits regional blood flow as muscle fibers compress blood vessels. The decrease in blood flow is partially offset by local arterial vasodilation, however if the muscle is contracted to 70% of its maximal voluntary contraction, blood flow may be completely occluded. This reduction in blood flow allows the accumulation of acidic metabolic byproducts that stimulate chemoreceptors within the muscle itself. In combination with mechanoreceptors, these ascending afferents provide feedback to cardiovascular control areas in the brainstem. "

I did not see a reference, so was not sure if this is an accurate statement or not. It was this reading and the first university study that made me think slow, tension sets (like the 6/0/2 second super set in OVT) may be impacting hypertrophy through Occlusion as well as the prolonged eccentric effect.