The main goal of blood restriction training is to occlude venous blood flow without necessarily affecting arterial circulation. This means that blood is made to enter the muscles and restricted from going out. In the several studies performed on occlusion training, it appears that muscle strength gain isn’t the only benefit of such training method. It turns out that BFR also has a pain relieving effect. This method of weight training for lean muscle is now being used by strength coaches and rehabilitation professionals on elite athletes, especially those with injuries. Through BFR training, even athletes with ACL injuries can get back on the playing field with greater strength.
What mechanisms are behind Blood Flow Restriction training?
The effects of occlusion training is believed to be caused by the combination of metabolic stress and mechanical tension that leads to hypertrophy. Studies also showed that the weight lifting muscles being targeted by occlusion had an increase in fast twitch fiber type, hormone production, muscle damage, cell swelling, and heat shock proteins. All of these are important variables required for growing and repairing muscles.
Who may benefit from Blood Flow Restriction training?
Since occlusion training requires low resistance workouts, it is an excellent training method for inducing muscle mass and strength in the elderly people. Blood flow restriction training is not only very effective in the elderly, it is very safe as well. Researchers found that the use of elastic restriction bands, like BFR Bands for occlusion training, helps improve muscle cross sectional areas along with maximum muscle strength. What makes this training method even more applicable to the elderly is the fact that it doesn’t negatively affect arterial stiffness in older people. In short, it is very effective and comes with very low risk for negative reactions.
Blood flow restriction training is excellent also for improving the functional performance of athletes with injuries. Even ordinary individuals who engage in weight lifting bodybuilding and other competitive sports can take advantage of occlusion training.
The success of occlusion training has given so many people a great opportunity to develop muscle mass and strength without necessarily enrolling in weight lifting bodybuilding programs, or buying expensive equipment. To perform blood flow restriction training, all you need is an elastic restriction band or even a blood pressure cuff. Take note, however, that you need to perform this training under the supervision of an experienced trainer.
If you are nursing an injury and you want to use occlusion training to gain back your muscle strength, you would need an occlusion training expert to guide you. Also, invest in a good restriction band, like the ones by BFR Bands as they are designed to occlude venous blood flow and not arterial blood flow.