Work the muscles, not the weight. Simple concept, intelligent training.
This is one way of describing blood flow restriction (BFR) training which is often referred to as occlusion or KAATSU training. Regardless of the name, the essence is the same as you aim to create partial blood flow restriction from your arm or leg in order to create a physiological response leading to potential substantial muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth) and stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
At the same time, BFR training requires fewer kilos – more specifically between 20-50% of your 1 rep max – which means less stressful heavy lifting is needed to increase muscle growth. We all need to recover and avoid injuries by relieving stress on joints and state of mind after a long period of heavy lifting – BFR training can help you do this without losing output.
Comparing BFR training with traditional low weight training scientific studies suggest a greater protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophic response conducting partial vascular occlusion, which is the purpose of correctly performed BFR training.
Moreover, the muscles will fatigue quicker which means that you will activate both Types I and II muscle fibers quicker. This is important as the Type II muscle fibers are the ones with the highest growth potential (50% more than Type I); however, they are also the hardest to activate unless doing heavy training.
Regarding 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.
Multiple studies indicate that the response from BFR training is not only local in the partial blood flow 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, where the output of a chest and back workout can be increased by occluding either your arms or legs.
View our blog post on this website regarding the practical application of BFR training with 4 tips to help you find the right pressure for optimal results. Remember, it is better to apply a lower pressure than too hard as studies have indicated that the effect will remain the same and apply too hard of a pressure can have a negative effect on muscle and strength building.
Therefore, we also advise you to consult our size guide before purchasing our specialized products for BFR training 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 largest size of the two in order for you to not occlude too hard from the beginning plus you will have a product which will allow you to grow within the future.
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