Want bigger stronger muscles? Is an injury preventing you from lifting as much weight as you normally do?
Blood flow restriction can be painful, pleasurable and downright dangerous at times...
You might want to give it a try in your training program to get some gains and even get out of pain.
What is it?
Blood flow restriction, or BFR, involves exercising with a band wrapped around your muscle to restrict blood flowing back to your heart. The blood is going into your muscle but getting restricted on the way back.
Why Do It?
Bigger, Stronger Muscles
BFR allows you to gain similar strength and size as you would from training with a lot more weight. For example, lifting 20 pounds with BFR can give you similar results as regular lifting with 100 pounds. By restricting the blood flow back to the heart, all the internal stress is getting “trapped” in that muscle you’re working - which is making it work harder, and therefore causing it to grow.
Prevent and Rehab Injury
When you’re injured it prevents you from training that injured area and certainly can affect the amount of weight you use. By using 20-30% of your usual load, you can minimize your pain while exercising. Implementing BFR strengthens the muscles and ligaments without doing any further damage.
Anyone Can Do It!
You may have seen those expensive Kaatsu devices on Instagram or TV - but you don’t need that.
There are more practical tourniquets you can use or a regular resistance band like this one.
You want to place the band where the joint starts - closest to the body.
You may be wondering how tight it should be. Aim for a tightness of 7/10 - 10 being it cant possibly go any tighter. You don't want to feel any tingling and you certainly don't want to be turning blue.
The purpose here is to allow blood to flow into the muscle you're working, and restrict it as it flows back to the heart.
Its safe - you’re not cutting off blood flow, you’re just restricting it.
End your workout with 3 sets of these for anywhere between 15-30 reps with 30 seconds rest in between.
As shown in the video, this can be used for arm and leg exercises.
Give BFR a try and let us know how it goes!