The Effect of Six Weeks of Functional training with Blood Flow Restriction on Myostatin to Folistatin Ratio and Physical Fitness in Elderly Men

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Science, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Sport Science, Amir Kabir Industry University, Tehran, Iran


Background&Purpose: Aging is associated with decreased muscle mass and it is known physical training can counteracts it. Therefore, this study was aimed to evaluate the effects of functional training with and without blood flow restriction (BFR) on Myostatin to Follistatin ratio (M: F) and physical fitness indices in elderly men.
Methodology:Thirty healthy elderly men (age 68.7±3.8years, BMI 25.6±2.1 kg/m2), were randomly divided into two experimental groups, Functional training(FT) and Functional training with Blood Flow Restriction(FBFR) and control group(C). Eleven functional exercises with focus on motor skills were performed 3 days per week, 6 weeks with 30-40% of one maximum repetition. Inflatable cuff with 110 and 70% arterial occlusion pressure was used for lower and upper body respectively and, the pressure was increased by 10% every two weeks. In addition to blood sampling, a set of tests was performed to determine the fitness level of the subjects, before and after the protocol. Covariance analysis and paired t-test were applied to evaluate the variables.
Results: Compared to the control group, following training interventions significant improvements in muscle strength, static and dynamic balance were observed in the two experimental groups (p= 0.001); without significant differences between the two experimental groups. Following the study protocol, the concentration of myostatin and follistatin decreased and increased in the two experimental groups, respectively. The M:F ratio only in the FBFR group was significantly different from the C group(p<0.05).
Conclusion: Neurological adaptations of functional training caused to significantly improve in physical fitness indices, and the adding BFR to the training in the short term has only a small effect on biochemical variables.


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