Graduate Program

Kinesiology and Sports Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Jeffrey M. Willardson

Thesis Committee Member

Jill D. Owen

Thesis Committee Member

John D. (Jake) Emmett


The purpose of this study was to compare the muscular strength and hypertrophic response following a four week training intervention involving resistance exercise utilizing only eccentric muscle contractions with, or without blood flow restriction (BFR), as well as a control group maintaining their current training regimen. Sixteen young male volunteers were recruited to participate in this study. Prior to the training intervention, subjects attended three sessions in order to obtain demographic information (age, height, body mass) and familiarize each of the participants with the testing and training equipment. After the familiarization session, muscular strength was assessed via elbow flexion one repetition maximum (1-RM), defined as maximal weight successfully lifted throughout concentric range of motion (ROM), and by grip strength dynamometer. Additionally, upper-arm muscle CSA (cross-sectional area) was assessed using an estimation equation derived from the circumference and skinfolds. Subjects were then randomized into three training conditions, eccentric resistance training only (ECC), eccentric resistance training with BFR (OCC), and a control training group (CON). Following training, results indicated a significant increase in both right and left grip strength, but not elbow flexion strength for the group as a whole. However, there was no significant difference between groups for any of the strength variables. Muscle CSA increased significantly following training for the group as a whole, but no significant difference was found between groups. The findings of the current study indicate that the addition of BFR to eccentric resistance exercise does not provide superior muscle strength nor size adaptations compared to eccentric resistance training without BFR, or regular resistance training.