Blood Flow Restriction Training Explained

Work the muscles, not the weight. Simple concept, intelligent training.


Blood flow restriction (BFR), occlusion or KAATSU training – what is it?

We have many names for the things we love. Although people tend to use the phrases blood flow restriction (BFR) training, occlusion training and KAATSU training to refer to the same thing, there is actually a (slightly nerdy) difference when it comes to the exact way that the workout is performed.

However, regardless of the name, the three methods all have the same purpose of restricting (occluding) part of the blood flow from your arm or leg in order to provoke muscle adaptation. The keyword here is partial as the veins (placed right under your skin and normally visible to the naked eye) should be fully occluded, whereas the arteries (placed deeper down and not visible) should not be occluded at all.

The result is a substantial increase in muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth) and stimulation of muscle protein synthesis. The science behind occlusion is obviously more detailed than this, but here we give you the basics.

Train with fewer kilos

One massive advantage of BFR training is that it requires fewer kilos – more specifically between 20-50% of your 1 rep max – which means that less stressful heavy lifting is needed to increase muscle growth. So, if you are looking to recover from a long period of heavy lifting or an actual injury, or you just want to train in a way that minimises stress on your joints and tendons, BFR training can help you do this without losing output.

We believe that BFR training should be for everyone, which is why we made sure that our BfR Pro products are suitable for almost anyone, regardless of your gender, physical size or fitness level. Also, the price is affordable for ordinary mortals, contrary to similar products in the market.

Maximise your output faster and more efficiently

Another advantage of BFR training compared to traditional training is that you will be able to complete your workout in a shorter period of time – without having to compromise when it comes to output.

Even though you are training with less weight, your muscles will fatigue quicker, which means that you will activate both Types I and II muscle fibres quicker. This is important as the Type II muscle fibres are the ones with the highest growth potential (50% more than Type I). These fibres are normally the hardest ones to activate unless doing heavy training, but blood flow restriction training allows you to do this with much less weight.

Regarding general efficiency, academic studies have shown that low weight BFR training seems to require a substantially shorter period of physical activity (3-6 weeks) compared to traditional heavy lifting (8-12 weeks) to achieve the same results. 

Does this training method only have an effect locally?

Multiple studies indicate that the response from BFR training is not only local in the partially restricted arm or leg, but can in fact have a significant effect on non-occluded parts as well. In other words, performing BFR training can have a local as well as a systemic effect on our body. For instance, the output of a chest and back workout can be increased by occluding either your arms or legs.

Practical application and correct size

Applying our BfR Pro straps for arms and legs is not hard at all because you will be able to do it on your own and using just one hand. Only make sure to check out our short 4 tips blog post about how to find the right pressure for optimal results. Remember, it is better to apply a lower pressure than too hard a pressure as studies have indicated that the effect will remain the same. Also, overdoing the pressure may have negative effects on muscle and strength building.

Obviously, finding the size which is just right for you is important. Here we advise you to consult our size guide and measure your arm or leg correctly before ordering. In case you are between two sizes (e.g. Medium and Large), we advise you to order the larger of the two in order for you to not occlude too hard from the beginning. One advantage of this is that you will have a product which will allow you to grow in the future. And trust us on this – you will grow!

Questions or feedback for us?

We welcome all questions and feedback, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here through the contact formula or e-mail directly to Naturally, we are available on Facebook and Instagram as well – just hit one of the icons in the bottom left corner to get in touch.