Blood Flow Restriction Training

What is blood flow restriction (BFR) training?

BFR training uses FDA approved cuffs that are applied to your arms or legs.  These cuffs are inflated to control the amount of blood and oxygen being delivered to your muscles.  With the use of these cuffs, you can exercise at a low intensity but still experience the gains of a high intensity work out. 

What is the difference between a low intensity work out and a high intensity work out?

During a low intensity work out, you are training at 20-35% of your one rep maximum.  During a high intensity work out, you are training at 65-90% of your one rep maximum.  For example, the maximum weight you can squat is 100 lbs.  BFR training allows you to exercise at a low intensity (i.e. squatting 30 lbs; 30% of your one rep maximum) to have similar gains of a high intensity work out (i.e. squatting 70 lbs; 70% of your one rep maximum).

What are the benefits?

There are over 820 research articles published on BFR training.  BFR training has been shown to increase strength, prevent muscle wasting, increase muscle size, improve cardiovascular function and supports soft tissue repair by indirectly triggering the release of Human Growth Hormone and IGF-1.

How is this helpful for my pre-habilitation / rehabilitation?

BFR training is effective for situations when you are unable to exercise at a high intensity and are restricted to a low intensity work out.  This can include several situations such as being in a cast due to a bone fracture, restricted to a partial weight bearing status, limitations due to pain, pre and post joint replacement surgery, strains, sprains, chronic concussion symptoms, osteoporosis, muscle deconditioning & many more.

How is this different than wrapping Voodoo floss bands or exercise bands around my arms or legs?

There is more consistency with amount of blood being delivered to your limbs.  Voodoo floss bands or excise bands are wrapped around the limb without knowing the actual amount of blood being occluded to the limb.  With BFR training, a cuff pressure is calculated specifically for you and is based upon the optimal occlusion rate determined by research studies.  This will ensure that the amount of blood being delivered to your arms or legs will mimic a high intensity work out.

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