In today’s day in age, many of us are finding ourselves busier than ever. Finding time to fit in all of our daily tasks on top of free time activities such as exercising can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming. Luckily, there are ways to effectively maximize your workouts without sacrificing their effectiveness. Introducing: Blood Flow Resistance Training.
Blood Flow Resistance Training, also known as Occlusion, is a way of decreasing blood flow to targeted muscle groups while performing light resistance activities in order to increase muscle growth in a shorter period of time.
How Blood Flow Restriction Training Works
Blood Flow Resistance (BFR) Training works by using a type of pneumatic cuff to restrict blood flow during a low intensity exercise to produce results similar to those experienced when completing a high intensity workout.
The goal when performing BFR is to reduce the time it takes to build muscle. So how does BFR accomplish that goal? Yes! The reduced blood flow caused by the cuff increased the lactate concentration in your blood. This allows you to perform a lower intensity workout while forcing your muscles to work harder and essentially signalling to your body that you are performing a much more intense workout. Your body then releases the natural growth hormones responsible for muscle growth, this process is called hypertrophy.
How to Practice Blood Flow Restriction Training
BFR is best practiced in conjunction with low resistance exercises.
- Place the cuff around the arm or leg, depending on the specific muscle being targeted.
- Begin performing high repetitions of a lower intensity workout (i.e. using a lighter weight than you normally would).
- Use weight that is about 25%-35% of your single rep max. Perform three sets of 20-30 reps for each exercise.
- When taking a rest between sets, keep the cuff on for maximum benefit.
- Do not cut off blood flow completely. If your arm or leg begins to turn a pale color, your cuff has been placed too tightly.
Benefits of Blood Flow Restriction Training
- Increased muscle size and strength by up to 300%
- Preventions of muscular atrophy
- Improved bone mineral density
- Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease
Who is Blood Flow Restriction Good For?
While BFR can be beneficial to almost anyone, it is particularly beneficial to those undergoing rehabilitation following surgery or injury. Since it only requires lower intensity workouts, it reduces the overall stress on the muscles allowing for strengthening while healing.
For many experiencing an injury or recovering from surgery, gaining strength back in the area is important for recovery. However, lifting heavy weights while performing high intensity workouts may not be possible. Practicing BFR is a great way to get the same benefits of intense workouts, without causing excess stress or strain on the body.
Is Blood Flow Restriction Training Safe?
Yes, a study conducted in 2014 showed that performing BFR is perfectly safe when performed properly. It is important to make sure the cuff used still allows for blood flow to prevent injury or harm. The wider the cuff used, the higher the rate of blood flow.
For proper placement, never place the cuffs directly on or near your elbows, knees, wrists, or ankles.
We always recommend consulting your doctor or physical therapist before completing any Blood Flow Restriction training to make sure it is safe for you.
Our Top Pick for Blood Flow Restriction Training
The SourceFit Blood Flow Restriction Training Kit
Complete with 4 cuffs, a manual pump, and convenient carrying case, the BodyPro Blood Flow Restriction Training Kit is a great option for beginners and experienced users alike. Great for use during various exercises ranging from lifting weights, to pushups, jumping jacks, and even yoga!
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