Blood flow restriction or occlusion training is a strength training and bodybuilding technique that has been gaining a lot of popularity recently. This is mainly because of the amazing results it has when it comes to developing bigger and stronger muscles.
A number of studies have been conducted to see how occlusion training exactly affects the muscles. In this post, we are going to talk about the study on blood flow restriction by Luebbers et al.
This study on the effectiveness of weight training with bands for restriction used a protocol that is similar to other previous studies done on occlusion training. In this research, 62 football players participated during their offseason training. The subjects where randomly selected, and were divided in four groups.
The first group were made to perform high intensity bodybuilding and strength training that consists of traditional exercises – overhead press, bench press, squats, power cleans, and so on. They also did auxiliary lifts – triceps extensions, bicep curls, abdominal work, and calf raises. They were also made to do supplemental lifts – 4 sets of bench press and 4 sets of squats – at the end of each workout session. Blood flow restriction was applied on the supplemental workout.
This group were asked to perform exactly the same bodybuilding and strength training exercises as the first group, except that no occlusion was performed.
The third group were made to perform only the basic high intensity training routine. This means that they had no supplemental exercises, and no blood flow restriction was applied either.
The last group performed the auxiliary exercises only and not the traditional strength training and bodybuilding workouts. Aside from this, they also did supplemental work along with blood flow restriction at the end of each workout.
The study period lasted for 7 weeks. After the study, the athletes were assessed one by one to determine how the training program affected the development of their muscles. It turned out that the first group who performed the traditional strength training and bodybuilding supplemented with blood flow restriction had the greatest increases in 1Rm squat. On the other hand, no differences were found in 1 RM bench press between all the groups. There were no differences in chest, thigh, and arm girth among them as well.
Researchers analyzed the results of this study and determined that indeed, blood flow restriction can lead to increased muscle strength and size when performed along with traditional strength training and bodybuilding workouts. It should be noted however that the use wraps or BFR Restriction Bands should be done only for low resistance training workouts. This will guarantee greater results in the development of muscles.