Date of Award


Document Type

Access Controlled Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

James Hokanson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joy Hendrick, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Peter McGinnis, Ph.D.


Increases in fiber activation and muscle hypertrophy have been achieved with the use of low-load single joint resistance exercises in conjunction with partial vascular occlusion of the active muscle tissues, with subsequent increases in maximal voluntary contractions of 20-40% (Takarada, Sato, & Ishii, 2001; Takarada, Tsuruta, & Ishii, 2004; Sumide, Sakuraba, Sawaki, Ohmura, & Tamura, 2009; Leonneke & Pujol, 2009). Traditionally, similar gains in strength have only been elicited under conditions involving high-load resistance training (HL) at or above 75% 1RM (Sale, 1992; Baechle & Earle, 2008). The purpose of this study was to determine if partial vascular occlusion of working musculature during all out cycling on an ergometer would improve peak-power output, as measured during a Wingate Test. Subjects were separated into three training groups: A low-load occluded group (n=7), a low-load freeflow group (n=7) and a high-load free flow group (n=7). The low-load groups (LL and LLO) trained twice a week at 45% of the resistance used during their Wingate test, while the high-load group trained twice per week at 95% of the resistance used during Wingate testing. Training involved short sprint intervals at a maximum cadence ranging in time from 4 to 10 seconds per repetition, and 4 to 8 repetitions per session. After 10 training sessions, subjects in the LLO group and subjects in a HL group both improved significantly from pre to post testing in relative peak power (Watts/kilogram) by 14.4% and 14.1% respectively, while individuals in the LL group saw no significant improvement in relative peak power (4.6%). The LLO group improved significantly over the LL (p = .041), while the HL group’s improvement, compared to the LL group, nearly reach significance (p = .082). Utilizing low-load training under partially occluded conditions during sprinting on a cycle ergometer results in significant improvement to relative peak power output.