Optimizing the use of blood flow restriction for pre-conditioning & recovery of human performance

I am exploring the use of restricting blood flow from muscles (using a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff) to better prepare an athlete’s body for competition. This technique, known as ischemic preconditioning (IPC), has demonstrated enormous potential for improving the performance of already well-trained athletes. Preliminary work has shown a 1-3% improvement in performance in elite athletes, a 2.5% improvement would have placed the 8th place finisher 1st in the famous 100m butterfly final in the 2012 Olympics. However, there are many factors surrounding the use of IPC that remain unclear and uninvestigated, but by working with the Speed River Track and Field team I hope to answer some of these questions and reach the full potential of this technique; resulting in an improved athletic performance of our partners. The benefits of this project for me are huge, as I will be working with many different types of experts and gain knowledge in many different areas of performance research.

Joshua Slysz
Faculty Supervisor: 
Jamie Burr
Partner University: