There is a hot new topic in the world of strength training and body weight lifting, and that is the technique called blood flow restriction. This training method involves the use of restriction bands to limit the venous return of blood flow from certain muscles. This technique is aimed not to stop the flow of blood in the arteries, but to stop or limit the return of blood flow to the muscle. This is done by wrapping restriction bands tightly around the limbs so that blood will accumulate in the target muscles during exercise.
The History of BFR
According to Dr. Jeremy Loenneke, one of the leading researchers of BFR, the first study on blood flow restriction was published in 1998. It is believed that this concept first originated in Japan. During that time, the idea of blood flow restriction involves restricting blood flow into the muscle as well as restricting blood flow out of the muscle. This particular style of training has proven to have numerous benefits to one’s bones and muscles.
Can BFR Work with Light Weights?
Studies show that lifting as low as 20 percent on maximum strength can result in increased muscle strength and size that is similar to what other traditional resistance exercise can produce. As we all know, training without weights can have numerous significant benefits to the growth of our muscles in the body, and these results can be enhanced using blood flow occlusion training.
Does BFR Work in Novices As Well?
Blood flow restriction training combined with low resistance training has been proven time and again to be beneficial to the skeletal muscles of both trained individuals and those who are beginners in strength training. As a matter of fact, there is also evidence that shows that low intensity walking with BFR can also result in increased muscle size and strength.
Does Increased Muscle Mass with BFR Mean Strength Gains Also?
Training with restricted blood flow can certainly lead to huge increases in muscle strength. But of course, people should always remember that the type of exercise they do and how well they perform those exercise play a very important role in the development of muscle size and strength.
Is Blood Flow Occlusion Training Safe?
Many people fear that blood flow occlusion even while training without weights may result in blood clotting and muscle damage. Well, the truth is that muscle damage may occur with this kind of exercise, but not to a measurable degree. Researchers also explain that low resistance exercises combined with BFR do not activate the system that causes blood clotting. In short, this training method is generally safe for everyone. What you want, however, is to work with a professional trainer and also use reliable BFR bands to ensure the safety and efficiency of this method.