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Short-Term Blood Flow Restriction Increases Power Output and Bar Velocity During the Bench Press

Wilk, Michal; Krzysztofik, Michal; Filip, Aleksandra; Zajac, Adam; Bogdanis, Gregory C.; Lockie, Robert G.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: August 2022 - Volume 36 - Issue 8 - p 2082-2088, doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003649


To examine the effects of blood flow restriction (BFR) with 2 different types of cuffs on peak power output (PP), mean power output (MP), peak bar velocity (PV), and mean bar velocity (MV) in the bench press exercise (BP).


14 strength-trained men participated in this study:

Age = 27.6 years.

Body weight = 185 lbs./84.1kg.

Height = 5’ 9.25”/175.8 cm.

Concentric 1-RM = 323 lbs./138.6 kg.

Strength training experience = 6.5 years.

They performed 3 different testing protocols at 1 set x 3 reps each using 70% 1-RM as follows:

1. Without BFR (NO-BFR).

2. BFR with a narrow cuff (BFRNARROW).

3. BFR with a wide cuff (BFRWIDE).

The cuff pressure was set to approximately 90% full arterial occlusion pressure of the upper limb at rest.


During BFRWIDE compared with NO-BFR, increases in:

PP +21%.

MP +16%.

PV +22%.

MV +21%.

During BFRWIDE compared with BFRNARROW, significant increases in:

PP +15%.

MP +17%.

PV +18%.

MV +13%.

There were no significant differences in any of the variable between NO-BFR and BFRNARROW.

Using short-term BFR training increases power output and bar velocity during the bench press. However, only BFRWIDE significantly influenced bar velocity and power output, which indicates that the width of the cuff is a critical factor determining acute exercise adaptation during BFR resistance training.


1. Well, here we go: the 3 reps performed fast (most likely taking less than :05) is pure ATP-PC energy system dependent, thus does not result in an accumulation of metabolites (i.e., lactic acid, calcium ions, protons) so blood flow is not an issue/mandatory for its performance.

2. The cuff tightness on the upper arm not only occludes the blood flow, but also acts like a weight belt and compresses the muscle belly allowing it to exert greater force output, thus the faster speed of movement. READ: cheating. Have a nice day!

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