What is BFR?
What is Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training?
How does it work?
- Lack of venous return creates a swelling effect of the muscle.
- Metabolites, such as lactate, accumulate and stimulate muscle growth.
- Hypoxic environment promotes strength and muscle growth.
- Direct muscle fatigue forces the nervous system to recruit the largest fast-twitch muscle fibers, which have the greatest capacity to grow.
- Increase to Growth Hormone (GH) and Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1).
What are the benefits?
- Increased muscle size (Hypertrophy)
- Increased muscle strength
- Increased cardiovascular capacity
- Increased GH, IGF1 and maybe testosterone
- Decreased joint/tissue stress
- Little to no muscle damage
- Little to no recovery needed
- Little to no soreness or delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS)
- Low Intensity needed (resistance or cardio)
- Immobile or mobility-restricted populations:
- Bed ridden
- Post-operation rehabilitation patients
- Athletic populations:
- Active recovery
- Decrease joint/tissue loads
- Isolated exercises for “weak link” region
What are the risks?
- Injury resulting from this type of training is rare
- Possibility with inappropriate implementation:
- Subcutaneous hemorrhage
- Always consult your physician prior to any new exercise program
Loenneke JP, Abe T, Wilson JM, Ugrinowitsch C, & Bemben MG (2012) Blood flow restriction: how does it work? Frontiers in Physiology, 3, 392.
Loenneke JP, Wilson GJ, & Wilson JM (2010) A mechanistic approach to blood flow occlusion. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 31(1), 1-4.
Nakajima T. Key considerations when conducting KAATSU training. Int J KAATSU Train Res. 2011;7(1):1-6
Nakajima T. Use and safety of KAATSU training; results of a national survey. Int J KAATSU Train Res. 2006;2(1):5-13