The effects of resistance exercise with and without different degrees of blood-flow restriction on perceptual responses

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Sports Sciences


The aim was to compare exercise with and without different degrees of blood-flow restriction on perceived exertion (RPE) and discomfort. Participants were assigned to Experiment 1, 2, or 3. Each completed protocols differing by pressure, load, and/or volume. RPE and discomfort were taken before and after each set. For pressure and RPE, the 20% one repetition maximum (1RM) blood-flow restriction conditions were affected by increasing the pressure from 40% to 50% blood-flow restriction (~12 vs. ~14). This did not appear to happen within the 30% 1RM blood-flow restriction conditions or the higher pressures in the 20% 1RM conditions. The similar RPE between 20% and 30% 1RM to failure was expected given both were to failure. For discomfort, ratings were primarily affected by load at the lowest pressure. Increasing pressure to 50% blood-flow restriction increased discomfort at 20% 1RM (~2.6 vs. ~4). There was a further increase when increasing to 60% blood-flow restriction (~4 vs. ~4.8). The high-load condition had the lowest discomfort, while ratings were highest with 20% 1RM to failure. In conclusion, exercise with blood-flow restriction does not appear to augment the perceptual response observed with low-load exercise to failure.



Publication Date