Blood flow restriction training, also known as BFR, is a form of exercise that has been gaining traction in the fitness world. It involves using a specialized device to restrict the blood flow to a specific muscle group during a workout. This type of training has been found to be effective for improving strength and muscle growth, as well as aiding in recovery.

The idea behind BFR is that by restricting the blood flow, the muscle fibers are forced to work harder. This results in a greater anabolic response, meaning more muscle growth and strength gains. Additionally, studies have found that BFR can reduce muscle soreness, meaning you can recover faster and get back to training sooner.

When using BFR, it is important to use the right amount of pressure. Too much pressure can cause injury, while too little pressure will not produce the desired results. The external pressure needs to be enough to allow some arterial flow but block venous blood return. This promotes ischemic/hypoxic conditions for the muscle, increasing fatigue-related metabolites. This increases lactate and hydrogen causing stress-inducing hypertrophy and myogenesis.

BFR is a great way to get the most out of your workouts. It can help you build strength and muscle faster, and can also help you recover faster. However, it is important to use the right amount of pressure and the right exercises. If done properly, BFR can be a great addition to any workout routine.

How to use low-load exercise with blood flow restriction (BFR)?

  • External pressure cuff applied to most proximal region of upper/lower limbs and inflated between 60-270 mmHg (pressure depends on region the cuff is placed)
  • 2-4 exercises per muscle group
  • 4 sets per exercise
  • 30 reps for 1st set and 15 reps for the remaining three sets and each set performed to near failure or to failure
  • Pressure is maintained and blood is restricted throughout all 4 sets
  • Low intensities between 20-50% of your 1 rep maximum
  • Rest 30-60 seconds between sets
  • For best results use BFR 2-3 times per week per muscle group

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