What Is Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFR)?
Blood flow restriction is where you use tightened bands around the vein area of your limbs when doing exercise or working out in order to increase blood flow to that area, thus helping the muscles grow and heal faster. It works on your legs and arms. It is good for people in post-operative treatment from an injury or just for the common day resistance training in the gym.
Does Blood Flow Restriction Training Work?
When your muscles swell up it is called hypertrophy. The blood flow-restricting training used tightening bands to restrict the blood to the limb, forcing excess hypertrophy to the limb which in turn helps the muscle grow in size and heal faster.
What Is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is the increase in the size of a muscle.
Is Blood Flow Restriction Training Safe?
The bands are tightened around the limb to a degree of about 60% of maximum tightness, as long as there is no numbness or tingling felt during the training, the exercises using BFR are safe.
Releasing Of Hormones
“Any exercise, resistance or aerobic, brings about a significant increase in growth hormone. Insulin-like growth factors and growth hormones are responsible for increased collagen synthesis after exercise and aids muscle recovery. Growth hormone itself does not directly cause muscle hypertrophy but it aids muscle recovery and thereby potentially facilitates the muscle strengthening process. The accumulation of lactate and hydrogen ions (eg in hypoxic training) further increases the release of growth hormone.
High-intensity training has been shown to down-regulate myostatin and thereby provide an environment for muscle hypertrophy to occur. Myostatin controls and inhibits cell growth in muscle tissue. It needs to be essentially shut down for muscle hypertrophy to occur.” – Excerpt from Physio-pedia on Blood Flow Restriction Training
How Do You Train Restricted Blood Flow?
You set the BFR bands to about 60% of maximum tightness around the upper part of your limb and perform your normal exercise routine at a lower intensity, going slower and with about 1/3 of normal rest times in between sets, usually around 30 seconds.