There is now a very unorthodox yet popular method that guarantees immediate muscle gain using light weights. According to those who have done it, occlusion training by doing blood flow restriction bands can build stronger and bigger muscles. This is not something that’s easy to believe for many, however, because it seems to contradict the traditional methods of muscle building.
Theory of Muscle Building
It is widely believed that the ones responsible for increased muscle growth are the mechanical stress along with the subsequent exhaustion of the muscle fibers. Moreover, muscle fibers are assumed to be gained when the load increases. This means that the heavier the weights being lifted by the muscles, the bigger the muscles grow. Clearly, this is opposite what advocates of blood flow restriction training programs are saying.
Research Results for Blood Flow Restriction Training
There have been a number of studies and tests conducted to see how occlusion training affects the formation of muscles in the body, and amazingly, all the results were consistently positive. In fact, in some of the studies conducted about blood flow restriction bands, it turned out that considerable muscle growth can be achieved in just a week of training. This outcome was compared to the amount of time it took for traditional training methods to produce the same results – four weeks.
What Happens During Blood Flow Restriction Training?
During occlusion training or blood flow restriction bands, the blood flow above the muscle that is being trained is cut off. The restriction of the blood flow is done using wraps, blood pressure cuffs, or restriction bands. Take note that the blood flow should not be interrupted completely. It should just give you a light feeling of pressure on your muscles.
In terms of the load level, around 20 to 50% of 1RM must be used to get good results. If the loads are below such levels, it will not be enough to activate the Type II muscle fibers. As a result, your blood flow restriction training will not be any different from training methods using heavy weights. In short, no significant increase in muscle size will happen.
Another common question is about which types of exercises will work best with occlusion. In theory, you can use this method with any form of exercise, but for best results, isolation exercises are recommended. These exercises include triceps extension, biceps curls, leg extension, and so on.
What Device to Use?
To get the most out of blood flow restriction bands, it is recommended that you use the right type of bands for blood restriction. Occlusion Training Bands by BFR Bands are made from quality materials that make the bands durable, effective, and very easy to use.