If you’ve been going to the gym, perhaps you’ve noticed a new trend in muscle and strength building. Blood flow restriction is an increasingly popular technique that’s combined with weights exercises. The idea behind this training, which is also known as occlusion training, is that using elastic restriction bands to wrap around the limbs can build bigger and stronger muscles. According to experts, doing this to restrict the flow of blood from the muscles in these areas can enhance the effects of every rep in every set.
The concept of blood restriction training is didn’t come out of nowhere. There is actually a scientific explanation of how and why it works. Basically, it is a fact that hypertrophy muscle development is possible at lighter weight and lower intensities. Considering that heavy weight lifting can lead to overstraining of joints and overworking the nervous system, more and more people find blood flow restriction training very appealing because it requires lighter weight.
According to research, occlusion training has the ability to stimulate more Type IIx muscle fiber activation. It is also proven to be effective in increasing the production of growth hormones in the body, as well as anabolic activity, which is helpful for muscle building.
Just like in any kind of physical training, safety is the most important consideration in occlusion weights exercises. Caution must be observed because this training may cause changes in your blood pressure, muscle damage responses, and blood coagulation or clotting. None of these should worry you, however, because experts say that the risks involved in blood flow restriction training are no greater than when you perform heavy weight lifting. Nevertheless, you want to train with an experienced trainer to be on the safe side.
There are several things to keep in mind also as you perform this kind of training.
- It is not a good idea to go heavy. Don’t think that incorporating this training with heavy weight lifting will yield better results. Always stick with the weight that’s around 20 to 30 percent of your max capability.
- You should have short rest periods. Ideally, your rest periods should not be longer than 60 seconds between sets. This way, you may maximize the positive metabolic responses of occlusion training.
- Don’t wrap the bands too tight. The pressure from the restriction bands should be just enough to stop the blood flow from the muscles. It should not be too tight as it should not restrict arterial flow into the muscle.
- Use the right wraps. There are wraps made specifically for blood restriction training. Occlusion Training Bands by BFR Bands are designed to enhance the effects of your occlusion weights exercises. They are durable and very easy to use as well.