Women who want better legs, a better shape, and overall muscle tone should definitely be including occlusion training into their workout routine.
For those who don’t know, the methodology of occlusion training, also known as kaatsu or blood flow restriction training, is a style of training where you wear bands on the upper arms or legs and train with really light weight (or bodyweight) and train to fatigue.
It may sound simple, but what it does is it actually slows superficial venous blood flow (the veins near the surface which carry blood flow away from the limbs), which triggers a series of metabolic processes that tell your brain that you are lifting with heavy weight even though you are not.
The result of course is that your body begins to change as if you did those heavy squats and lunges, even though you were just doing bodyweight with your BFR Bands.
What’s so special about the BFR Bands? Here’s a cool video from Leidy Riis:
I highly, highly recommend you integrate this style of training into your routine at least 3 days per week. Here are a few ways you could use this:
- 20 minutes of light cardio such as walking with the BFR Bands on your upper legs (your brain will think you’re running)
- Use it as a warm up before every workout to help you better recruit the muscles you want to focus on
- Use it as a standalone workout (great when you travel or workout from home with limited equipment)
- Use it at the end of each workout as a “finisher” to maximize that burn
Also, here’s what a typical exercise looks like:
- 4 sets of bodyweight squats with only 10 seconds of rest between sets. 30 reps on the first set, then 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
The idea is to train to volitional fatigue, keep rest periods short, reps high (30+ reps on average) and sets high (usually 4-6 sets, sometimes more).
Give this method a go, and let me know how you like the results in the comments below 🙂
To your gains,
Kusha Karvandi, PES, CES, CSCS