How much pressure (mmHg)? – The Pressure-Load Continuum in Blood Flow Restriction Training ⬇
The time and less-load benefit of doing BFR are relative to the amount of relative pressure, being that higher pressure 70-90% of Limb Occlusion Pressure (LOP) seems to be favorable when tolerated.
This is particularly relevant when using very low-load (<25% 1RM), as there seems to be a threshold of at least 60% LOP when using very low load.
It seems that relative load and relative pressure exist on a mutually affected continuum. When using moderate-loads (40-50% of 1RM) use less pressure (40-60% LOP). On the other hand, when utilizing very low-load (<25% of 1 RM) It is strongly recommended to use higher relative pressures (70-90% LOP).
The load-pressure continuum appears to be a very important consideration especially post-operation or on other occasions with prescribed load restrictions. Conversely, for BFR application in a gym setting without any strict load restriction, it is probably favorable to utilize less pressure (40-60% LOP) but the higher relative load (30-50% 1 RM). This phenomenon is illustrated below.
Cerqueira et al. (2021) Repetition Failure Occurs Earlier During Low-Load Resistance Exercise With High But Not Low Blood Flow Restriction Pressures: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Pignanelli et al (2019) Low-load resistance training to task failure with and without blood flow restriction- Muscular functional and structural adaptations