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Kettlebell Blood Perfusion

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Graham Henderson

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Hi there,

I recently re-read the article: Strength Training and the Benefits of Perfusion | StrongFirst and wanted to know what types of strength training would maximize this effect. The paper that Dr. Hartle references in the article uses studies with both aerobic and resistance training (both of which may lead to increased perfusion,) though the article itself suggests 5- rep resistance training has the greatest effect (as a result of VERY high diastolic bp spikes.) Here is the study from the article: Impact of exercise training on arterial wall thickness in humans

Dr. Hartle mentions all three of Strong First's training modalities in the article, but I can't imagine S&S, for instance, causes such extreme blood pressure spikes. If I wanted to increase capillary density through this mechanism, would it help to add weighted pistols (in the 5rm rep range) to S&S 2+ times per week? I haven't seen much about this topic on the forum, so I'm looking forward to responses.

I went in to the gym to deadlift last week (haven't in a few years, pulled 30lbs less than my old max of 435 after only kb and bw training) and left the gym practically steaming in Chicago's 32 degree rain. No doubt heavy barbell work does the trick.

Part of the reason I'm interested in this topic is that I started experiencing Reynaud's this winter. Decreasing stress through relaxation techniques (neurogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation) has taken care of the Reynaud's, but I wonder if I've lost some capillary density from prolonged stress. The article mentions increased sympathetic nervous system activity as a cause of arterial wall thickening and decreased circulation — and if heavy resistance work would correct/improve blood perfusion.

Thanks so much! This is my first time posting, but I keep up with the forum.
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