BFR research is continuing to show significant value for changes in strength, hypertrophy, and VO2. This has been demonstrated in both strengthening and endurance based applications. So, if you had to choose one or the other, which application is going to be the most effective use of your time? A recent article by Conceicao et al. added some support for endurance exercise with blood flow restriction.
“The present study compared muscle strength, hypertrophy, and cardiorespiratory fitness responses, along with the expression of underlying genes and proteins implicated in exercise adaption processes, following 8 weeks of resistance training (RT), endurance training (ET) and endurance training with BFR (ET-BFR). We observed increases in muscle strength and hypertrophy after ET-BFR and RT while VO2max post-training increased after traditional ET and ET-BFR.” The BFR group at 40% VO2 reserve was the only group to show improvements in strength, hypertrophy, and VO2 max at the same time.
It looks like BFR with endurance exercise is definitely a worthwhile use of time. It hasn’t been determined yet if BFR and strengthening exercise would also demonstrate changes in VO2. There is potential due to the increase in capillary density and increased myocyte count. More research is needed to determine which is the BEST application for blood flow restriction.