Effect of KAATSU-training on the maximum voluntary isometric contraction of lower extremity muscles of qualified football players

Изучалось влияние KAATSU-тренинга на изометрическую силу мышц квалифицированных футболистов. Установлено, что интенсивный рост максимальной силы мышц нижних конечностей у участников экспериментальной группы произошел спустя три недели после окончания KAATSU-тренинга. Это связано с длительностью процессов регенерации и восстановления поврежденных ишемической тренировкой скелетных мышц.

Голубев А., Самсонова А., Ципин Л.

Влияние КААТSU- тренинга на изометрическую силу нижних конечностей футболистов

Golubev A., Samsonova A., Tsipin L. Effect of KAATSU training on the maximum voluntary isometric contraction of lower extremity muscles of qualified football players //Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 2021. Vol. 21/ Suppl. issue 3. Art 255. P. 1995-2000

 

Аннотация

Представленное исследование является продолжением экспериментов, посвященных влиянию KAATSU-тренинга на силовые способности спортсменов. Первая его часть, касающаяся воздействия KAATSU-тренинга на локальную силовую выносливость мышц нижних конечностей футболистов, была опубликована в 2020  году (Golubev A., Samsonova A., Tsipin L. Influence of the KAATSU training on the strength endurance of the muscles of the lower extremities in qualified football players. Int J Appl Exercise Physiol. 2020; 9(6): 202-210)

Цель настоящего исследования состоит в изучении эффективности применения KAATSU-тренинга при развитии максимальной силы мышц нижних конечностей квалифицированных футболистов.

Методы и организация исследования. В эксперименте приняли участие 18 квалифицированных футболистов, из которых были сформированы экспериментальная (n=9) и контрольная (n=9) группы. Спортсмены обеих групп два раза в неделю в течение 19 дней выполняли по три силовых упражнения на мышцы нижних конечностей. Эти упражнения включали приседания со штангой на плечах, разгибание ног сидя в тренажере (упражнение на переднюю группу мышц бедра) и сгибание ног лежа на горизонтальной скамье (упражнение на заднюю группу мышц бедра). Применялся метод «до отказа». Экспериментальная группа выполняла силовые упражнения с использованием KAATSU, а контрольная – без его применения. На протяжении 40 дней эксперимента оценивалась максимальная изометрическая сила передней и задней групп мышц бедра спортсменов.

Результаты. Установлено, что у спортсменов экспериментальной группы KAATSU-тренинг привел к росту максимальной силы передней группы мышц бедра только через определенное время после его завершения. Так, сразу после окончания использования KAATSU значение максимальной силы составило 560±50 Н, а через три недели достоверно (p<0,01) возросло до 750±60 Н. Максимальная сила задней группы мышц бедра через три недели после завершения KAATSU-тренинга также достоверно (p<0,01) увеличилась с 138±14 Н до 195±13 Н. У спортсменов контрольной группы изменение уровня максимальной силы передней и задней групп мышц бедра оказалось существенно ниже. При этом у спортсменов обеих групп достоверного роста максимальной силы мышц по сравнению с началом эксперимента не обнаружено.

Обсуждение. Интенсивный рост максимальной силы мышц нижних конечностей у участников экспериментальной группы, произошедший спустя три недели после окончания KAATSU-тренинга, связывается нами с регенерацией и восстановлением поврежденных ишемической тренировкой скелетных мышц и повышенным синтезом белка. В то же время восстановление энергетических ресурсов скелетных мышц под воздействием KAATSU, которое мы наблюдали в предыдущем исследовании [1], происходит быстрее, чем восстановление состава и структуры миофибрилл скелетных мышц.

Установленные различия в изменении максимальной силы рассмотренных групп мышц, по-видимому, обусловлены спецификой применяемых силовых упражнений.

Ключевые слова: KAATSU-тренинг, BFR, футбол, максимальная сила мышц.

 

Impact of KAATSU-training on the maximum isometric strength of the lower extremity muscles of qualified football players

Alexander Golubev1, Alla Samsonova2 and Leonid Tsipin3

1 Degree Candidate’s name, Lesgaft National State University of Physical Culture, Sports and Health, St. Petersburg, Russia.

2 Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor, Lesgaft National State University of Physical Culture, Sports and Health, St. Petersburg, Russia.

3 Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor, Lesgaft National State University of Physical Culture, Sports and Health, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Abstract

The presented study is a continuation of experiments devoted to the influence of KAATSU-training on the strength abilities of athletes. Its first part related to the impact of KAATSU-training on the local strength endurance of the lower extremity muscles of football players was published in the journal in 2020 [1].

The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of the use of KAATSU-training along with the development of the maximum muscle strength of the lower extremities of qualified football players.

Research methods and organization. The experiment involved 18 qualified football players, who formed experimental (n=9) and control (n=9) groups. Athletes of both groups performed three weightlifting exercises for the lower extremities twice a week for 19 days. These exercises included back squats, knee extensions on leg extension machine (exercise for the quadriceps muscle)  and knee flexion lying on a horizontal bench (exercise for the hamstrings muscles). The method “to muscular failure” was applied. The experimental group performed weightlifting exercises using KAATSU, and the control group did not apply it. During 40 days of the experiment, the maximum isometric voluntary contraction force (MVC) of the muscles of athletes was assessed.

Results. It is found that in the athletes of the experimental group KAATSU-training led to an increase of the maximum strength of the quadriceps muscles only after a certain time after its completion. As a result, immediately after the end of KAATSU use, MVC value reached 560±50 N, and after three weeks significantly (p<0,01) increased to 750±60 N. MVC of the hamstrings muscles three weeks after the completion of KAATSU-training also significantly (p<0.01) increased from 138±14 N to 195±13 N. Change of the MVC level of the quadriceps and  hamstrings muscles in athletes from the control group was significantly lower. At the same time, no significant increase in MVC of the athletes of both groups comparing to the beginning of the experiment was found.

Discussion. An intensive increase of the MVC of the lower extremity muscles in the participants of experimental group which occurred three weeks after the end of KAATSU-training associated with regeneration and restoration of skeletal muscles damaged by ischemic training and increased protein synthesis. At the same time, restoration of skeletal muscle energy resources under the influence of KAATSU, which we observed in the previous study [1], occurs faster than restoration of composition and structure of myofibrils.

Established differences in the change of MVC of the considered muscles, presumably conditioned with the specificity of the weightlifting exercises applied.

Key words: KAATSU-training, BFR, football, maximum isometric voluntary contraction force (MVC)

1. Introduction

Development of strength abilities with local strength endurance and maximum strength being among them of key importance, forms the basis of football players physical training for performances in the competitive period [2]. Strength training, aimed at the development of maximum strength, is an important energy-generating factor in the process of adaptation to training and competitive loads [3]. It is based on the improvement of motor system functioning mechanisms and the relationship between power and functional fitness [4-6]. A lot of specialists pay attention to the effectiveness and necessity of involving strength and the use of various training programs for this purpose [7-12]. Also, it is necessary to take into account that there is a positive correlation between maximum strength and power abilities, which are essential for football players [13].

To ensure the training shifts of athletes, a directed force impact suggesting effective options for working with weights is required [14]. It is supposed that such impact can be organized using KAATSU-training or Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) method, which involves skeletal muscle ischemia that occurs with partial restriction of the blood flow [15]. KAATSU-training allows to directionally implement specific muscle groups when using local exercises. This assumption is supported by the results of studies on the application of this method when increasing the maximum isometric muscle strength [16, 17]. It is emphasized that in elite athletes KAATSU-training increases muscle strength with relatively small external weights, which under normal conditions are not effective [18]. However, information about the use of method of the Restricting Blood Flow to working muscles in training of football players is extremely rare. As a result, the question of the possibility of the lower extremity maximum muscle strength development of football players with KAATSU-training remains understudied.

The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of the impact of KAATSU-training for the indicators of changes in the maximum muscle strength of the lower extremities of qualified football players.

2. Research methods and organizing

An experiment aimed at determination of the impact of KAATSU-training on the maximum muscle strength of the lower extremities of football players was conducted. The experiment was conducted during 40 days in July-August 2019 during the preparatory period of the training of athletes. In parallel, local strength endurance of muscles was assessed [1]. The experiment involved two homogeneous groups of qualified football players: experimental and control. Each group included 9 persons. The average age of the experiment participants was 18.7 ± 0.5 years. All subjects had previous training experience at least 6 years. All the examined were medically fit and before the beginning of the experiment they were familiarized with its program and gave their voluntary written consent to the participation.

At the end of the training sessions on 1, 5, 8, 12, and 19 days of the experiment, all the participants performed the following weightlifting exercises for 15 minutes: back squats, knee extensions on leg extension machine (exercise for the quadriceps muscle)  and knee flexion lying on a horizontal bench (exercise for the hamstrings muscles). The training sessions also included technical and tactical exercises and control games. Barbell weight when performing squats was 40% RM and when performing knee extensions on leg extension machine and knee flexion lying on a horizontal bench – 25 % RM and increased by 2% in each workout. Exercises were performed in three approaches with “to muscular failure” method with a rest between the sets of 40 s. The difference between the experimental and control groups was that weightlifting exercises in the experimental group were carried out using KAATSU-training according to KAATSU NANO method [19]. On the upper thighs of both legs 50 mm wide pneumatic cuffs with a pressure of 400 SCU (Standard KAATSU Unit) were put on. KAATSU method in the control group was not used.

The measurement of the maximum isometric voluntary contraction force (MVC) of the quadriceps and  hamstrings muscles was carried out before the experiment, as well as on days 1, 5, 8, 12, 19, 26 and 40 of the experiment. MVC of  quadriceps muscles was assessed by the effort value, developed in a static position at the distal end of the calf at an angle between the thigh and the calf of 90 degrees. Therewith, the subject was sitting on the bench of the leg extension machine (Fig. 1, a).

 

Effect of KAATSU-training on the maximum voluntary isometric contraction of lower extremity muscles of qualified football players

Fig. 1. Measurement of the MVC of the quadriceps  (a) and hamstrings (b) muscles

MVC measurement of hamstrings muscles was carried out in the lying position on the bench of the Lying Leg Curl machine. The angle between the thigh and the lower calf was also 90 degrees (Fig. 1b). An electronic dynamometer DOR-3-5i (Russia) with measuring range of 0.5-5 kN and reading accuracy up to 0.5 N. The dynamometer was attached by means of a cable on the one side to the retainer at the end of the link, and on the other – to the base of the Lying Leg Curl machine (Fig. 1).

The processing of experimental data was carried out using the STATGRAPHICS Centurion XVI Version 16.2.04 package.

3. Study results

Before the experiment, values of MVC of the quadriceps and  hamstrings muscles athletes from the experimental and control groups did not differ significantly (p>0.05). On each of the following days of KAATSU-training application, no significant differences were also observed, and when it was completed on the 19th day of the experiment, the values of the MVC in both groups of athletes became almost equal and reached up to 560±50 N and 560±80 N respectively. (Fig. 2). Further, during three weeks and until the end of the experiment (40th day) in the experimental group of athletes the maximum force of the quadriceps muscle increased and by the end of the experiment it reached 750±60 N, that is significantly (p<0.01) increased by 34% in comparison with the 19th day of the experiment and insignificantly – in comparison with the beginning of the experiment. During the same period, in the MVC control group the quadriceps muscle practically did not change.

Thus, by the end of the use of KAATSU-training (19th day of the experiment), compared to the beginning of the experiment, there was no significant increase in the MVC of the hamstrings muscle in both groups of athletes. Moreover, the MVC values of the muscles of the hamstrings on day 19 of the experiment in both groups of athletes did not even reach the initial level. However, in the experimental group, the MVC of the quadriceps muscle significantly increased within three weeks after the completion of KAATSU-training.

Effect of KAATSU-training on the maximum voluntary isometric contraction of lower extremity muscles of qualified football players

Fig. 2. Change of the maximum isometric force of the quadriceps muscles in experimental and control groups (days of application of KAATSU Training; * — before experiment; average force values are shown in the table below the figure)

 

The nature of the change in the MVC values of the hamstrings muscles (Fig. 3) confirms the tendency we established for the quadriceps muscle. Namely, during 19 days of using KAATSU-training, the MVC values practically remain unchanged and only after its completion they begin to increase. Three weeks after the end of the use of KAATSU in the experimental group of athletes, the MVC values significantly (p <0.01) increased by 57 N, this means by 41%, and reached 195±13 N. In the control group, over the same period, the MVC values also significantly (p<0.05) increased and reached 205±15 N, but the change was 37 N, that means 22%, which is almost two times less than in the experimental group. Compared to the beginning of the experiment, there was no growth of the MVC of the hamstrings muscles in the experimental and control groups of athletes.

Effect of KAATSU-training on the maximum voluntary isometric contraction of lower extremity muscles of qualified football players

Fig. 3. Change of the maximum isometric force of the hamstrings muscles in experimental and control groups (days of application of KAATSU Training; * — before experiment; average force values are shown in the table below the figure)

4. Discussion

The increase in the maximum muscle strength of the lower extremities of football players three weeks after the termination of KAATSU-training, especially characteristic of the quadriceps muscles, indicates the manifestation of a cumulative effect from the work performed. At the same time, the increase in muscle strength was not as significant as shown in the number of studies [16-18]. The reason for this discrepancy might be, primarily, the magnitude of the load when performing specific weightlifting exercises and, secondly, the duration of KAATSU-training. In the conducted experiment it composed about three weeks, while according to the data of J.P. Loenneke et al. [20] expressed increase in muscle strength occurs only after 10 weeks of training. This assumption is supported by the dynamics of MVC muscle growth after the end of KAATSU-training. It was not possible to determine the change in maximum strength during longer time in this experiment due to the participation of football players in games. Therefore, the issue of the influence of KAATSU-training on the maximum strength of the lower extremities in the long-term period of adaptation remains relevant.

The difference in the dynamics of changes of the maximum strength of the anterior and posterior thigh ground of muscles during the experiment is most likely explained by the specificity of the weightlifting exercises used. Two of them (back squats and knee extensions on leg extension machine) were aimed at the developing of the strength abilities of the quadriceps muscles and only one (knee flexion lying on a horizontal bench) was aimed at the developing of the hamstrings muscles. Insufficient load on the hamstrings muscles may also be associated with an increased probability of their injury and the fear of athletes to perform exercises with the required intensity [21].

It is known that the effect of the use of weightlifting exercises also depends on the composition of muscle fibers in the muscles. It could be assumed that the differences in the changes in the MVC of the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles under the influence of KAATSU-training are associated with the different ratio of fast and slow muscle fibers in these muscles. However, this is not supported by experimental data. As shown by J.A. Simoneau and C. Bourchard [22] in the quadriceps muscles of young men the composition of muscle fibers is as follows: 46±15 (type I); 39±12 (type IIA); 15±9 (type IIB). In the hamstrings muscles, according to P.E. Evangelidis et al. [23] the composition of muscle fibers is practically the same: 47.1±9.1 (type I); 35.5±8.5 (type IIA); 17.4±9.1 (type IIB).

It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that impact of KAATSU-training on different strength abilities of athletes is not the same. Previously, in the first part of the presented study [1], it was shown that KAATSU-training has a positive effect on the local strength endurance of the muscles of the lower extremities of football players. From the fifth day of the experiment until its completion, the indicators of the local strength endurance gradually increased. In this study it was found that a clear increase in the maximum isometric muscle strength occurs only from the 19th day of the experiment after the end of the use of KAATSU. Apparently, this can be explained with different physiological mechanisms underlying the development of strength endurance and maximum strength of skeletal muscles. In the first case, a relatively rapid accumulation of energy substances in muscle fibers and an improvement in their capillarization, which is facilitated by KAATSU-training, what is of a great importance. In the second case, an increase in the values of the maximum isometric muscle strength is primarily reasoned by an increased protein synthesis in muscle fibers, which ultimately leads to an increase in the volume and number of myofibrils.

In this respect, restoration of skeletal muscle energy resources under the influence of KAATSU-training, which we observed in the previous study [1], occurs faster than restoration of the composition and structure of skeletal muscle myofibrils. That is why, under the influence of KAATSU-training, carried out every four days, muscle strength endurance increased, but maximum isometric strength did not. And only after the termination of KAATSU-training MVC of skeletal muscles began to increase significantly.

5. Conclusions

  1. KAATSU-training has such a strong damaging influence on the skeletal muscles of the lower extremities that during its use their strength does not increase. A break of four days between KAATSU workouts prevents the muscles from finally recovering of their composition and structure. Presumably, training with the use of KAATSU-training, aimed at the developing of muscle strength, should be carried out less frequently, for example, once a week. This must be taken into account when planning the training and results of the cumulative training effect.
  2. Recovering of the skeletal muscle energy resources under the influence of KAATSU-training, which we observed in the previous study, occurs faster than restoration of the composition and structure of skeletal muscle myofibrils. This is precisely why under the influence of KAATSU-training, carried out every four days, the strength endurance increases, but the maximum isometric muscle strength does not.

References

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С уважением, А.В.Самсонова

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