Occlusion training, also known as blood flow restriction training, is a weight lifting bodybuilding technique wherein the limbs are wrapped so that the blood flow to the target muscles will be restricted. As crazy as it may sound, this revolutionary training method has proven to be very effective in increasing muscle size and strength.
How does occlusion training work?
Perhaps you are wondering how restricting the normal blood flow into your muscles can help them grow. Well, basically, when you go to the gym and start your weight training workouts, you will eventually feel all pumped. When you occlude your arms and thighs with occlusion training wraps, the blood will be flowing in and not out. As a result, your muscle cells will eventually be filled with too much fluid, so they would either burst out or grow.
When the muscle cells get packed with fluid, the oxygen levels automatically drop. Then, the body naturally produces more muscle fibers to help increase the oxygen levels. It is through this involvement of more muscle fibers that actually makes this training method result in muscle growth.
Experts also explain that low oxygen levels lead to increased amount of accumulated lactic acid in the muscles. This is not bad at all. In fact, studies show that the accumulation of lactic acid is a good indicator of protein breakdown and growth.
How to do occlusion training safely?
In any kind of workout, doing it with caution is very important. You need to do the routines right if you want to make sure you get the most out of the workout. To make sure you are doing things properly while training with occlusion training wraps, keep the following things in mind:
1. Occlusion is not recommended for beginners at weight or strength training. This technique should be used only when you already have strong muscles. Fitness experts would actually allow you to use occlusion training if you have been training formally or going to the gym for at least 6 months.
2. Occlusion is beneficial for those who want to see a significant change in their muscle size. If your main reason for weight training is to have toned muscles or a lean figure, this might not be for you because it results to rapid muscle build-up.
3. It is important that you use your occlusion training wraps correctly. It is not enough that you just wrap your bands around your limbs. When you wrap it extremely tight, it will restrict the flow of blood in your arteries, and this is not supposed to happen. Occlusion training experts say that on a scale of 10, the grip of your BFR wraps should be between 6 and 7. Wrapping too tight may cause arteries to collapse, and wrapping too loose won’t benefit you at all.