Before the concept of vascular occlusion training surfaced, high-intensity weight training was considered synonymous with bodybuilding success. Many people believed that intense training is key for continued muscle hypertrophy. This type of weight training normally involves lifting a weight that’s not lower than 70 percent of their 1-rep maximum. There was also a belief that anything below this intensity cannot produce considerable muscle growth. But all these were challenged by research on a new method of muscle training and development.
Blood Flow Restriction Training
A series of studies and research in the past couple of years has shown that it is possible for a person to gain significant muscle hypertrophy by lifting only 20 to 30 percent 1-RM. This may sound crazy to you at first, but when you get to learn more about what blood flow restriction training, you will be impressed by how it works.
According to researchers, there are various mechanisms by which occlusion training works, including metabolic accumulation, increased fiber type recruitment, stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, as well as cell swelling.
How to Do Occlusion Training
Practically speaking, occlusion training involves the use of occlusion training wraps during the training. These wraps are placed around the top portion of the muscle being trained. The bands should be wrapped around the limbs not too tight and not too loose. The purpose of the wrapping is to occlude the blood flow in the veins, but not the arteries. By doing this, blood enters the muscle being trained, and won’t be able to escape. This is where the growth of the muscle actually begins.
Advantages of Low-Intensity Exercise with BFR
As mentioned earlier, applying blood flow restriction during your weight training routine allows you to use only 20 to 30 percent of your max rep, this means you won’t have to lift very heavy weights in order to increase the size of your muscles. What you will love about this method is that it produces results that are just as good as any traditional weight training technique.
So who could benefit from this training method? Well, those people who are nursing an injury but still want to continue weight training will benefit from this. They don’t have to perform high resistance training, which actually poses risks to their injury.
Older people who want to gain muscle size and strength could also benefit from BFR, as well as women who are not capable of lifting heavy weights.
There is no doubt that the discovery and development of vascular occlusion training has given more people more opportunities to develop their bodies. If you’re a beginner, however, it is recommended that you work with a personal trainer who specializes in occlusion training so that you could reap the benefits of this method.